After watching this video, the part that stuck out most for me was when the cancer patient’s partner discussed her religion and how some forms of family building were “frowned upon,” in her church. I hope training like this will continue to break down walls regarding what is ok and not ok even within the religious part of life. Hopefully the more we can educate others about what is available and be a resource for questions that people may have about infertility we can maybe open some lines of communication about fertility options and religion.
I also wonder how a hospital chaplain might be helpful in a conversation related to this. I recognize that on the outpatient side many patients and caregivers will have their own home houses of worship as a resource; but would hospital chaplains have a unique perspective in dealing with medical based faith discussions frequently. I also wonder if anyone has engaged with their own institution’s chaplains when initially discussing fertility impact with patients at the point of diagnosis.
This is a unique perspective and I can respect the openness that the couple shared about their religious considerations. I am Catholic and went through menopause earlier than “normal age” which has posed a similar situation with my new spouse who has not had any children of his own. I had one child (natural birth) with my ex-spouse. We discussed some options including in-vetro, but my spouse said that it was like altering God’s plan. We also discussed that adoption would be an opportunity to parent a child who needs a loving parent and loving home. I have had a few friends who were successful with in-vetro and very happy to have had the opportunity to give birth. I can appreciate that the couple in the video have a counselor that can support them and encourage them to speak with both family, spiritual/faith community leaders, peer supports and medical professionals who can answer their questions without pushing them to follow their agenda.
I agree with what is said in this discussion. Religion can be an important factor when discussing fertility options. Hospital chaplains would be a great resource with helping the couple find common ground with their religion and choice for fertility preservation. I also wonder if education or open discussion with religious leaders and fertility specialists could further break barriers to this unique situation and help those affected by cancer make educated and comfortable choices regarding fertility. Educating others and providing a comfortable and non judgmental environment could further preservation efforts as well.