Klara Bergman: Burdens from the Past

David Barnard, Patricia Boston R.N., Anna Towers and Yanna Lambrinidou

in Crossing Over

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780195123432
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199999835 | DOI:
Klara Bergman: Burdens from the Past

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This chapter discusses Klara Bergman's case. Ms. Bergman was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. Although she did not question the diagnosis, she felt a strong aversion to her disease as she perceived it as a terrible injustice. Ms. Bergman felt she was cheated and was being punished for no good reason. She was an 80-year-old Nazi survivor. As such, Ms. Bergman worked hard to repair and alleviate the suffering of the victims of the concentration camps. Deeply religious and committed to her Jewish faith, she felt that her disease was an injustice and a punishment that had no reasonable grounds. A firm believer in her religion, Ms. Bergman began questioning whether God was present and with her at the time of her suffering. Discussed in the chapter also is the manner in which Ms. Bergman's daughter Ellen coped with the illness. Once overly protected by her mother, she held a key role in the palliation needs of her mother as a prime caregiver. Despite the constant prodding of her mother to a quick death once treatment and palliative medications failed, Ellen was in constant denial of the outcome of her mother's impending death.

Keywords: lung cancer; injustice; religious; faith; punishment; suffering; denial

Chapter.  9789 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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