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The Right Thing

I was once in a similar situation to the one Price-Hoskins described. I politely told my colleague that since she had already charted the meds and knew the patients better, I would prefer to admit the new patient, and she could pass the meds. She replied, "That's a good idea." Had she not agreed, I would have stated my reluctance to give meds that I had not charted. Sometimes there is a simple resolution that others may not see unless you suggest it.

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Charting before giving meds is not a good practice. I believe God puts us in situations where we need to stand our ground and not sacrifice values.


Linda Merrell


Blue Springs, MO


Price-Hoskins Responds

Several readers have wondered how I responded to the situation with Kerry ("The Right Thing-for the Right Reason," Fall 2004 JCN). Here's what I did:


Kerry wanted to admit the patient because she knew the patient from earlier hospitalization. The first bonding relationship was particularly important with this patient. I gave the medications, marking out Kerry's initials and writing in my own. Medications that I did not give, I reported to Kerry, who gave them later and corrected the time.


Pam Price-Hoskins


Tulsa, OK


Biblical Suicide Accounts

Susan Salladay's article, "Clinician-Assisted Suicide," was helpful. In an accompanying side-bar, the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology was cited as stating that"the Bible does not speak clearly regarding suicide" and that the several cases of suicide are"reported rather than given any moral evaluation." I believe these claims are mistaken, and that Christian nurses should be clear about biblical guidance regarding suicide.


The Bible does not give us a clear"thou shalt not commit suicide." But several biblical teachings have direct implications for the morality of suicide. These include God's sovereignty over our lives and bodies, our purpose in life, God's provisions to assist our endurance of pain and suffering, and the provision of the Body of Christ to care for and nurture one another.


The biblical suicide accounts also give clear teaching on the morality of suicide. These passages have even been used to support the morality of assisted suicide and euthanasia. However, reaching this conclusion betrays a misunderstanding of the Bible's literary structure. The biblical accounts are narratives, not legal or philosophical analyses. The ethical message will only be correctly discerned when they are interpreted as narrative.


The desire to die is not unethical. Many biblical characters wanted to die, but chose not to. These people resisted this urge and trusted God's timing. Their reasons constitute the fuller picture of why Christianity has rejected suicide. We can be confident that the Bible gives clear guidance on the unethical nature of suicide and assisted suicide.


Donal P. O'Mathuna


Coleraine, Ireland


Support Groups Gaining Ground

I found the article "Mobilize Support Groups to Meet Congregational Needs" and its focus on the stages of group development helpful. We are offering a Grief Share group, a Celebrate Recovery group and a weight management group. The points in this article are helpful for those leading to understand and respond to the stages of their group.


Linda Lambert


Carlisle, PA


Valuable Resource

I am a nurse educator in the Philippines and am privileged to be called to the vocation of educating nursing students. JCN is a valuable Christian publication, assisting us in integrating nursing knowledge and the main principles of the Bible regarding spiritual care. I look forward to many more valuable articles.


Eden Shiz A. Parpa


Kabankalan, Philippines


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Upcoming Issue

Spring 2005




[black small square] Discernment in using CAMs


[black small square] Women and Aging


[black small square] How a nurse becomes a parish nurse



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