Show simple item record

dc.creatorCassell, Eric J.en
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-05T19:10:15Zen
dc.date.available2015-05-05T19:10:15Zen
dc.date.created1999-10-05en
dc.date.issued1999-10-05en
dc.identifier10.7326/0003-4819-131-7-199910050-00009en
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitationAnnals of Internal Medicine. 1999 Oct 5; 131(7): 531-534.en
dc.identifier.issn0003-4819en
dc.identifier.urihttp://worldcatlibraries.org/registry/gateway?version=1.0&url_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&atitle=Diagnosing+Suffering:+a+Perspective&title=Annals+of+Internal+Medicine.++&volume=131&issue=7&pages=531-534&date=1999&au=Cassell,+Eric+J.en
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-131-7-199910050-00009en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10822/758526en
dc.description.abstractThe alleviation of suffering is crucial in all of medicine, especially in the care of the dying. Suffering cannot be treated unless it is recognized and diagnosed. Suffering involves some symptom or process that threatens the patient because of fear, the meaning of the symptom, and concerns about the future. The meanings and the fear are personal and individual, so that even if two patients have the same symptoms, their suffering would be different. The complex techniques and methods that physicians usually use to make a diagnosis, however, are aimed at the body rather than the person. The diagnosis of suffering is therefore often missed, even in severe illness and even when it stares physicians in the face. A high index of suspicion must be maintained in the presence of serious disease, and patients must be directly questioned. Concerns over the discomfort of listening to patients' severe distress are usually more than offset by the gratification that follows the intervention. Often, questioning and attentive listening, which take little time, are in themselves ameliorative. The information on which the assessment of suffering is based is subjective; this may pose difficulties for physicians, who tend to value objective findings more highly and see a conflict between the two kinds of information. Recent advances in understanding how physicians increase the utility of information and make inferences allow one to reliably use the subjective information on which the diagnosis and treatment of suffering depend. Knowing patients as individual persons well enough to understand the origin of their suffering and ultimately its best treatment requires methods of empathic attentiveness and nondiscursive thinking that can be learned and taught. The relief of suffering depends on physicians acquiring these skills.en
dc.formatArticleen
dc.languageenen
dc.sourceBRL:MEDKIE/99423361en
dc.subjectCommunicationen
dc.subjectDiagnosisen
dc.subjectDiseaseen
dc.subjectEmpathyen
dc.subjectIllnessen
dc.subjectMedicineen
dc.subjectMethodsen
dc.subjectPainen
dc.subjectPalliative Careen
dc.subjectPatientsen
dc.subjectPhysician Patient Relationshipen
dc.subjectPhysician's Roleen
dc.subjectPhysiciansen
dc.subjectPsychological Stressen
dc.subjectSufferingen
dc.subjectTerminal Careen
dc.subjectTerminally Illen
dc.titleDiagnosing Suffering: A Perspectiveen
dc.provenanceDigital citation created by the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature at Georgetown University for the BIOETHICSLINE database, part of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics' Bioethics Information Retrieval Project funded by the United States National Library of Medicine.en
dc.provenanceDigital citation migrated from OpenText LiveLink Discovery Server database named NBIO hosted by the Bioethics Research Library to the DSpace collection BioethicsLine hosted by Georgetown University.en


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record


Georgetown University Seal
©2009—2018 Bioethics Research Library
Box 571212 Washington DC 20057-1212
202.687.3885