The vulnerabilities of illness do not define the person, but require that they receive extra care.
Rev. Dr. Kristel Clayville holds a PhD in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. She is the Acting Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago as well as a Senior Fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Clinically, she works as a chaplain and ethicist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and focuses on the existential and spiritual issues facing organ transplant patients. Kristel’s early research was on the uses of the Hebrew Bible in environmental ethics, especially through the work of Holmes Rolston, III and Hans Jonas. More recently, she has turned toward the intersection between environmental ethics and bioethics to study the green burial movement and organ donation as genres of recycling. She actively pursues clinical research in how patients engage their religions to understand the medical care they are getting and make decisions about it. She is ordained in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.
I kept waking up at night with the image of field hospitals in my head and thinking, “We’re going to have to build field hospitals.” My only experience with field hospitals was watching M*A*S*H* and seeing news reports from other countries in crisis.
“Caring for the least of these” is still the kind of neighbor love that is called for, but what does that look like during a pandemic?