Responding to Those Who Hope for a Miracle: Practices for Clinical Bioethicists

American Journal of Bioethics 18 (5):40-51 (2018)
Abstract
Significant challenges arise for clinical care teams when a patient or surrogate decision-maker hopes a miracle will occur. This article answers the question, “How should clinical bioethicists respond when a medical decision-maker uses the hope for a miracle to orient her medical decisions?” We argue the ethicist must first understand the complexity of the miracle-invocation. To this end, we provide a taxonomy of miracle-invocations that assist the ethicist in analyzing the invocator's conceptions of God, community, and self. After the ethicist appreciates how these concepts influence the invocator's worldview, she can begin responding to this hope with specific practices. We discuss these practices in detail and offer concrete recommendations for a justified response to the hope for a miracle.
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DOI 10.1080/15265161.2018.1431702
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Citations of this work BETA

Psychological Aspects of Hoping for a Miracle.Samantha Siess & Anne Moyer - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (5):67-68.
Miracles, Scarce Resources, and Fairness.Steve Clarke - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (5):65-66.
Miracles for the ‘Nones’.Amy Michelle DeBaets - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (5):61-62.
When a Miracle Is Expected: Allowing Space to Believe.Horace M. DeLisser - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (5):52-53.

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