Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 73(4) November 2023

Book Review

The Good Samaritan Nurse in a Secular Age

By Teresa Lynch RGN. Published Barnes and Noble, 12th October 2023,
Reviewed by Mgr Michael Nazir- Ali.

Book Cover - samaitan nurseThis detailed work has been written for professionals in the Nursing Profession. As such, it offers a great deal of wisdom about the background to the profession as it is now and, in particular, its Christian inspiration and commitment. It also highlights the moral dilemmas faced by professionals in this area and suggests compassionate but principled responses to these. It alerts, both professionals and others, to developments that may work against the welfare of patients and the cornerstone principles of doing good and not harm in the practice of medicine. The traditional commitment here of respect for the person and the valuing of life at all its stages is congruent with the teaching of the Catholic Church and Catholics and other Christians should uphold it in every way that they can.

There is an emphasis on the wholeness of approach in both the curative and the caring aspects of the profession. The nurse, especially, must be seen to be one who values patients as persons, who keeps their best interests in mind and who intercedes for them both with the divine and with authority in the medical world.

Teresa has not been afraid to tackle the most difficult issues in her extensive work and always with her loyalty to the best in the Nursing tradition and to authentic Christian teaching.

Those not in her profession, such as clergy, moral theologians, seminary teachers etc, will also benefit from the thoroughness of this book which will become a compendium not only of good nursing practice but also of serious moral issues to be addressed in the world of medicine. For this service, we should all be grateful to her.