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Bioethics in the Work of Professional Chaplains

by Rabbi Jodie Futornick MA BCC 
APC™ Forum, February 2017, Vol. 19 No. 1
I am excited to share with our APC™ membership news about the new Bioethics Standards of Practice Task Force.
Professional chaplains encounter ethical issues in just about every aspect of their work with patients, family and staff. The new task force was established to formalize the place of bioethics in the work of professional chaplains.
We are approaching our work in two distinct phases:
1) We are currently drafting Bioethics Standards of Practice for professional chaplains. These standards complement APC’s fifteen Standards of Practice for acute care chaplains. The purpose of the Bioethics SOPs is similar to APC’s SOPs for Hospice and Palliative Care. They guide every professional chaplain as to how to incorporate Bioethics concepts and principles into their clinical role.
2) After we complete the Bioethics SOPs, we will turn our attention to addressing competencies for Bioethics specialty certification. While the SOPs will clarify the role of every Board Certified Chaplain as a Bioethics generalist, the specialty certification will qualify chaplains with additional bioethics education and experience as a Bioethics specialist. Again, this credential is similar to the Hospice and Palliative Care specialty certification.
There are so many different ways in which professional chaplains contribute to the multidisciplinary team through the provision of excellent spiritual care. Bioethics is one area where chaplains can apply their skill set to add value to the team. Our goal is for the Bioethics SOPs to help us to continue to do so with intention.
Look forward to new Bioethics Standards of Practice, coming soon!

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