Care of the spirit that transcends religious, ideological and philosophical boundaries
KeywordsCare of the spirit
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AbstractSpirit and spirituality are human universals, which are understood, expressed and lived out in different ways. Care of the spirit is an integral component of holistic palliative care, respecting the individual spirituality and experience of the person for whom we care. Whatever be the religious, ideological or philosophical background of the patient and the clinician/carer, certain skills, knowledge and attitudes are essential in providing effective care of the spirit. Rather than using a single perspective, such as either a secular or a religious approach, to meet the needs of all in a pluralistic setting, effective, patient-centered spiritual care draws on the (often shared) wisdoms of the great spiritual and philosophical traditions and of the evolving understandings of these, science and art. Carers need both an awareness of their own spirituality and spiritual practice and an ability to &#x2032;bracket&#x2032; this in focusing on the needs and care of the patient&#x2032;s spirit.