Demands for Religious Care in the Taiwanese Health System
Nursing Ethics 2006 March; 13(2): 163-179
In order to care ethically nurses need to care holistically; holistic care includes religious/spiritual care. This research attempted to answer the question: Do nurses have the resources to offer religious care? This article discusses only one aspect--the provision of religious care within the Taiwanese health care system. It is assumed that, if hospitals do not provide enough religious services, nurses working in these hospitals cannot be fully ethical beings or cannot respect patients' religious needs. The relevant literature was reviewed, followed by a survey study on the provision of religious facilities and services. Aspects considered are: the religions influences in and on Taiwanese society; the religious needs of patients and their families; strategies that patients use to enable them to cope with their health care problems; professional motives for attuning to patients' religious needs; and hospital provision for meeting the religious and spiritual needs of patients. A survey of nursing executives showed differences between religious service provision in hospitals with and without a hospice ward. The practical implications for hospital management and nursing practice are discussed.
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