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Decoding Miracles: The Ethics of Engaging Religious and Spiritual Perspectives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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abstract
There are few places in a hospital that have as rich a bed of ethical, moral, and religious issues as the NICU. Physicians and staff of the NICU find themselves on the cusp of life and death caring for tiny lives wracked with illness. A conglomerate of ethical issues makes communication paramount for parents and practitioners in ascertaining best outcomes for babies. In this thesis I focus on religious and spiritual perspectives introduced to neonatal care by parents and families in statements and questions such as “We are praying for a miracle”; “We believe there will be a miracle”; “We believe you/God will perform a miracle”; and “Do you believe in miracles?” I examine the miracle teachings of Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to better understand what miracles are and when and why they have been recorded as happening. To understand the physician/patient relationship and shared decision making process, I recount the history of the physician/patient relationship. Finally, I examine what potential responses from physicians and care team members hinder or facilitate the therapeutic alliance. I propose that if properly addressed, miracle language can be a miracle for the NICU practitioners and support staff in helping the therapeutic alliance.
subject
Bioethics
Miracles
Phyiscian/Family relationship
Religious language
Shared Decision Making
Spirituality
contributor
Hall, Meghan Sabba (author)
King, Nancy MP (committee chair)
Iltis, Ana S (committee member)
Doron, Mia (committee member)
date
2015-06-23T08:35:42Z (accessioned)
2015-06-23T08:35:42Z (available)
2015 (issued)
degree
Bioethics (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/57115 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Decoding Miracles: The Ethics of Engaging Religious and Spiritual Perspectives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
type
Thesis

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