Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jeff Brawner


health disparity, euthanasia, end-of-life decision making, healthcare chaplain, spiritual care, Christian ethics


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Christianity


The many dilemmas that occur in the medical care of chronically ill seniors raise the question of whether senior populations have become the new black. The research seeks to provide an evidence-based review of limited health literacy among elderly African American Christians regarding diagnoses and medical treatments, which has resulted in unethical Christian practices becoming a norm. The researcher adapted the health literacy framework of Paasche Orlow and Wolf’s view of three distinct causes that influence health literacy: the access and utilization of health care, the patient-provider relationship, and self-care. The problem is that Victory Church members may not understand the chaplain’s role in addressing the need for health literacy for aging members to combat the rise of euthanasia through the church. The purpose of this thesis is to bring awareness to chaplains that clinical training can benefit pastors and ministers in their capacity as caretakers by shaping end-of-life choices consistent with Christian ethics. The study aims to research the positive benefits that health literacy may produce in elderly African Americans’ decision-making and ability to implement advance directives in the event of a health crisis. The form of the survey will be the Likert scale. The specific tools used to measure and analyze the intervention processes are focus group discussions, interviews, and action research. Through interviews and surveys of participants and literature reviews by scholars in medicine and issues associated with death and dying, a conceptual framework underscores what is learned and promising areas of future interventions.