Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Janet Grigsby




end of life, religion, hospitals, parents, medical team, ethics


This thesis explored the role of religion as a social variable affecting end of life decisions in the NICU. The existing literature has studied many factors that are a part of the tough ethical decisions made in the NICU with some reference to religion. However, there is not adequate attention given to religion specifically. In order to further expand upon religion, various members composing the medical teams of two hospitals were interviewed. The interviewees included neonatologists, nurses, chaplains, and a social worker. This thesis found that religion is a variable that matters more than the existing literature has claimed. Often, it is the undercurrent of religion, or a religious persuasion, that does not get put in the forefront but most definitely has strong and undeniable effects. It would be most effective to conduct further research on this topic, notably the concept of miracle seeking parents. Also, adding interviews with parents would be an integral component, which analyzes religion from the perspective of the parents as opposed to solely the medical team.