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Theodicy and End-of-Life Care

Dein, S; Swinton, J; Abbas, SQ; (2013) Theodicy and End-of-Life Care. Journal of Social Work in End-Of-Life & Palliative Care , 9 (2-3) 191 - 208. 10.1080/15524256.2013.794056. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines theodicy—the vindication of God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil from the perspectives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We focus on the thought processes that chaplains, social workers, and other professionals may use in their care interventions to address issues of theodicy for patients. Theodical issues may cause anxiety and distress for believers, but they can also potentially be a source of relief and release. Palliative care patients with a religious worldview often struggle with whether God cares about, or has sent, their pain. How social workers and other clinicians respond to such questions will have a great impact on how patients express themselves and use their religious beliefs to cope with their situations. For patients holding religious/spiritual perspectives, discussion of theodicy may facilitate closer relationships between patients and their caregivers and result in more compassionate and empathic care.

Type: Article
Title: Theodicy and End-of-Life Care
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/15524256.2013.794056
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15524256.2013.794056
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright Simon Dein, John Swinton, and Syed Qamar Abbas This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested.
Keywords: Christianity, end of life, God, Islam, Judaism, religion, suffering, theodicy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1457526
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