“Caregivers and Christians” enters the debate

"Caregivers and Christians" enters the debate

“In my department, which receives patients between 80 and 100 years old, I have a lady who has not eaten for a month and a half. She weighs only 33 kg and all communication is cut off with her, testifies Alix, geriatrician in a Parisian hospital. What should we do when emergencies demand space every day? Aren’t we prolonging for nothing? This question, the team asks itself regularly. And we don’t always have the answer. »

The small group that circles in one of the chapels of the imposing Saint-Louis church, in the heart of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital complex, in Paris, has no more. On this Tuesday, October 18, Saint Luke’s Day and caregivers’ day, they are there, around sixty, doctors, nurses, chaplaincy managers, priests and health referents mixed together, gathered less to decide than to discuss their experiences. around faith and care.

The initiative for this meeting – a first – between “healers of body and soul” around the theme “All caregivers”co-organized with the pastoral care of the diocese of Paris, returns to Côme Bommier, 32, hematologist at the Saint-Louis hospital and president, since September, of Caregivers and Christians, new name of the Catholic Center of French doctors (CCMF ). “A change of name which marks the will of openness of our association to all the actors of care and to the other Christian denominations”, he points out.

Difficult to take into account, in France, spirituality in care

Should we add days to a life that is no longer one? What just place for rites in care? How to accompany caregivers spiritually, and how far? What can believers bring to the reflection on the end of life? So many questions that the participants in this one-afternoon meeting addressed during four workshops which above all made it possible to take stock of the complexity, and sometimes the difficulty, of making spirituality and care rhyme in France. .

“At the Parisian hospital where I work, we are asked to be discreet in the name of secularism. At the limit, we can talk about a patient with an understanding caregiver, but in a discreet setting. But to publicly utter the word religion is to take a risk. Most young carers don’t understand the point,” underlines a person in charge of chaplaincy.

A nuanced colleague. “In Cochin, since the Covid, it is much easier for us to come to patients. Perhaps because the health crisis has made it possible to better realize how much the need for connection was an essential element of well-being and that spirituality could participate in care in the same way as physiotherapy. »

“You cannot cut a man into slices and take care of the body without taking care of the psyche and vice versa. Transcendence is a natural human right, not a supernatural right,” summarizes Mgr Philippe Marsset, auxiliary bishop of Paris, who came to attend the debates and celebrate the closing mass.

“In the upcoming debate on the end of life, we, Caregivers and Christians, have a unique voice to make heard, adds Como Bommier. What we stand for is not just life at all costs, but love. Care is the very exercise, in concrete acts, of this testimony of humanity. »


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