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Christ Bioeth. 2005 Aug;11(2):201-19.

"... As we forgive those who trespass against us...": theological reflections on sin and guilt in the hospital environment.

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Center for Medical Ethics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


In general parlance the term sin has lost its existential meaning. Originally a Jewish-Christian term within a purely religious context, referring to a wrongdoing with regard to God, sin has slowly become reduced to guilt in the course of the secularization process. Guilt refers to a wrongdoing, especially with regard to fellow human beings. It also refers to errors of judgement with what can be tragic consequences. These errors can occur whenever human beings are called upon to act, including the hospital environment. A Christian hospital has to address the issue of how to deal not only with guilt-ridden misdemeanors, but also with wrongdoing unto God, which overshadows every instance of guilt-ridden human behavior. Here, as in every parish, the Church Service is the place to acknowledge sin, confess sin, and forgive sin, beyond the boundaries of the parish itself.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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