The National Clergy Project on End-of-Life Care


Presented by Michael Balboni, PhD, ThM, MDiv

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand how spiritual care influences and impacts end-of-life medical decisions in terminal illness.

  2. Understand the religious values that clergy and congregants rely upon within end-of-life medical decisions.

  3. Understand how the medical system can better respond to clergy and congregations.

Michael Balboni, Ph.D., Th.M., M.Div, is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and a palliative care researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  He holds a Ph.D. in theology from Boston University and completed post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health and at Harvard Divinity School.  He received a career development award as a faculty scholar with the Program on Religion and Medicine at the University of Chicago.  As a theologian, his focus has included the development of a theology of medicine and a concentration in the theological underpinnings related to spiritual care in a pluralistic, secular medical context.  He is currently finishing a manuscript, co-authored with Tracy Balboni, entitled Hostility to Hospitality, to be published with Oxford University Press in 2018.  The book explores the manifestations of spirituality and religion within the socialization processes and institutional structures experienced by medical professionals. In addition, Michael works as a social-scientific researcher.  His empirical projects currently focus on spirituality and religion and their associations with end-of-life medical utilization and patient outcomes.  He is co-editor of Spirituality and Religion Within the Culture of Medicine: From Evidence to Practice, published in 2017 with Oxford.

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Supportive Care Coalition