[Spiritual support in the spirit of current trends in the Israeli healthcare system]

Amitai Ziv, Rachet Talmi, Meirav Gary-Cohen, Wendy Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

2 Scopus citations


This editorial is in response to Bar-Sela, Bentur, Schultz and Corn's article entitled "Spiritual care in hospitals and other healthcare settings in Israel--a profession in the making", published in Harefuah in May 2014. The integration of spiritual support into hospitals marks an interesting trend in light of the current emphases in the Israeli medical system on technological advancement, financial feasibility and quantifiable quality measures. This step is evidence of the importance still attached by policy and decisionmakers to those human aspects of illness and disease, which are difficult to define and measure. "Spiritual Support" is an ancient profession based on the principle, whereby support of the spirit is considered a basic human right, in recognition of the spirit as a source of strength during times of crisis and distress. This service was introduced into the Chaim Sheba Medical Center six years ago for patients with untreatable illnesses, and through identification of commonality between their coping features and those of rehabilitation patients. It was later expanded into the orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation departments. The service is provided on an individual level for the patients and in a group formal for their caregivers. Spiritual support as an integral part of the multi-disciplinary care further ratifies the holistic approach in medical practice, as an everlasting value transcending periodical trends. The conclusion drawn is that technological advancement, the scientific approach, physical-medical treatment, emotional therapy and spiritual support can and should exist side by side to improve the welfare and coping abilities of patients dealing with adverse medical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-653
Number of pages35
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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