How to Support Parishioners in Critical Health Care Decisions

Uncommon God, Common Good | 10/18/2019 | Staff
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Pastors and ministry leaders are often well-trained to care for people’s eternal well-being. However, they often feel ill-equipped to shepherd people as they make important decisions at the end of their physical lives. New Wine, New Wineskins and Multnomah Biblical Seminary will host a forum on this subject titled “Supporting Parishioners in Critical Health Care Decisions” on Wednesday, October 23rd at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. In this seminar, a palliative care physician who is an ordained minister will provide concrete advice and resources for pastors and ministry leaders about how to prepare their congregants both practically as well as spiritually for the end of mortal life. He will be joined by a panel that includes two pastors, a licensed counselor, and an estate attorney.[1] The keynote presenter is Rev. Dr. Robert Macauley, the Cambia Health Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care, School of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University. I reached out to Rev. Dr. Macauley to ask him some questions pertaining to the event. Here are the questions and his responses:

Paul Louis Metzger (PLM): Dr. Macauley, you operate in two domains: one as a medical doctor specializing in palliative care, and the other as a minister specializing in soul care. What are a few insights and concerns that a medical doctor brings that inform critical health care decisions? What are a few insights and concerns that a minister brings to bear on the same subject? How have these two spheres intersected or possibly even collided on this subject in your experience?

Robert - Macauley - RM - Questions - Physician

Robert Macauley (RM): These are great questions. As a physician, I’m well-versed in the probability of certain outcomes. Part of my job is to help patients and families understand what to expect based on the decisions they make. I am also acutely aware of the burden of...
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