CHARACTERISTICS AND STARTING POINTS OF SPIRITUAL HEALTH CARE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Medical and nursing care in the Czech Republic is based on a holistic approach to a man. He is perceived not only at his physical, mental and social level of being, but also spiritual with the efforts to satisfy the needs of patients.
The legal framework for providing spiritual services
The Constitutional Act of the Czech Republic and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms No. 2/1993 show in Articles 15 and 16 the right of every person to freedom of religion and includes the right of man to freely express his religion or belief either individually or together with other persons, privately or publicly, in the form of worship or other religious acts.
The provision of spiritual services is valid in the Czech Republic by the adoption of Act No. 3/2002 Coll., On Churches and Religious Societies and is also supported by the adopted European Standards for Health Chaplain.
Spiritual work in hospitals is further included in Act No. 273/2011 Coll., on health services, which states that the patient has the right to receive spiritual care in a medical facility and has the right to receive support from the spiritual churches and religious societies, which are registered in the Czech Republic. The law also states that a spiritual visit cannot be denied to a patient in cases of serious danger to his or her life or serious health damage.
Specific content of spiritual care
Most hospitals in the Czech Republic provide spiritual services mediated if requested and some facilities have their own chapels. In the Czech Republic there are also organizations of hospital chaplains – professionally trained clergy who provide spiritual care not only for patients but also for hospital staff.
With regard to the atheistic predominance of Czech society, spiritual care in Czech hospitals is not a common and usual part of the care provided, but in the case of interest and needs from the patient or his family, there are means and ways of providing such care.
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