Chapter

Healing the Suffering Patient

Eric J. Cassell

in The Nature of Healing

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369052
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979103 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369052.003.0011
Healing the Suffering Patient

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The most important aspect of caring for suffering patients is understanding suffering. We hear about different kinds of suffering. These distinctions are invalid. Suffering is suffering is suffering. It is suffering and not another thing. When pain is the source of suffering, the suffering is suffering, not pain. When existential issues are the cause of suffering, it is suffering, not the unbearable existence. Suffering includes ideas about the future and suffering rests on the meaning of events. This gives us the most important fact about suffering; bodies have no sense of the future and bodies do not assign meaning. Only persons have a sense of the future and assign meaning. Bodies do not suffer, only persons suffer. Using case examples and other materials, suffering is explained in detail. How the suffering patient is healed is a focus of the chapter.

Keywords: suffering; personal; self-conflict; purpose, central; lonely, symptoms, relief of

Chapter.  6142 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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