Being with and Being for: Flourishing, Suffering, and Joy in a Ugandan Hospital

Ryan Gillespie, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 360-75.

This article examines CURE Children’s Hospital of Uganda (CURE), a faith-based pediatric neurosurgery hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa, as a unique nexus of Western biomedical and holistic-spiritual healthcare in their philosophy, staff motivation, and delivery. Offering the concept of a healing narrative, the essential core of their practice is captured, I suggest, in the articulation and practice of a healing narrative of human flourishing, and we might productively think of the ethics of their clinical approach as premised on being with the patient, understood as mutual vulnerability and attending to suffering, and being for the patient, understood as advocating joy within and beyond the clinic. Extrapolating from this case study, the ideas being with and being for might be added to our clinical ethical practices and lexicon as we think through alternatives to a fragmented, compartmentalized biomedical care.



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