who baptized an infant suffering severe respiratory problems, thereby exposing the hospital to litigation and a $500,000 settlement with the parents (the husband was a local rabbi) (All Saints Healthcare System, 1998). The hospital had a dedicated neonatal chaplain and 24-hour chaplain coverage that included a cantor and a rabbi, but the therapist did not consult them before acting. Such extreme cases, although they should encourage sensitivity, should not discourage efforts to help patients and families with spiritual needs and concerns.

Spiritual Care for Children


My life

Is halfway down

An abyss.

A deep

Immeasurable space.

A gulf.

A cavity.

A vast chasm.

My life

Is not how

I planned it to be.

Is not how

I want it to be.

Is not how

I pray for it

To be.

In the darkness

Of this pit,

I see a small

Light of hope.

Is it possible for me

To climb to such heights?

To rebuild the bridges?

To find my salvation?

The song

In my heart

Is so quiet.

Is so dark.

Is so fearful.

I dare not stay in

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement