Original Research

Kanker as lewensnood: voorlopige merkers vir die pastoraat

A. R. Brunsdon, G. A. Lotter
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 42, No 4 | a286 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v42i4.286 | © 2008 A. R. Brunsdon, G. A. Lotter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2008 | Published: 27 July 2008

About the author(s)

A. R. Brunsdon, Praktiese Teologie, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa
G. A. Lotter, Praktiese Teologie, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

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Cancer as a life crisis: preliminary markers for the pastorate
The diagnosis of cancer is embedded in the negative social dis- course of a death sentence. It therefore creates an existential crisis in the lives of its victims. This article will explore the pas- toral implications of a cancer diagnosis. Whereas the medical path becomes clear upon the diagnosis of a particular type of cancer, the pastoral path may not immediately be evident. By viewing cancer phenomologically and in the light of the most common medical treatment, the article will try to establish what key issues (changes) would be brought upon persons affected by cancer. Eight key issues are taken into consideration: the change of short and long-term goals, the exposure to new re- lationships, feelings of rejection, an identity crisis, a radicalisa- tion of communication, a new perspective on time, death-anx- iety and faith issues. In the light of these anticipated key issues, six focus areas are identified as preliminary markers for the pastoral process. The problem of theodicy, suffering, the re- lationship between sin and illness, ethical issues of a medical nature, end of life counselling and eschatological perspectives are taken into consideration as areas that would be of great value in the pastorate to persons affected by cancer.


Cancer; Ethical Issues; Pastorate; Suffering; Theodicy


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