The fields of palliative and holistic nursing both maintain a commitment to the care of the whole person, including a focus on spiritual care. Advanced serious illness may pose a plethora of challenges to patients seeking to create meaning and purpose in their lives. The purpose of this article is to introduce scholarly dialogue on the integration of entheogens, medicines that engender an experience of the sacred, into the spiritual and holistic care of patients experiencing advanced serious illness. A brief history of the global use of entheogens as well as a case study are provided. Clinical trials show impressive preliminary findings regarding the healing potential of these medicinal agents. While other professions, such as psychology, pharmacy, and medicine, are disseminating data related to patient outcomes secondary to entheogen administration, the nursing literature has not been involved in raising awareness of such advancements. Research is illustrating their effectiveness in achieving integrative experiences for patients confronting advanced serious illness and their ability to promote presence, introspection, decreased fear, and increased joy and acceptance. Evidence-based knowledge surrounding this potentially sensitive topic is necessary to invite understanding, promote scientific knowledge development, and create healing environments for patients, nurses, and researchers alike.
Rosa, W. E., Hope, S., & Matzo, M. (2019). Palliative Nursing and Sacred Medicine: A Holistic Stance on Entheogens, Healing, and Spiritual Care. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 37(1), 100-106, https://doi.org/10.1177/0898010118770302