Disease and injury may contribute to suffering in humans and animals. Health care addresses this suffering in many ways, in subfields such as medicine, clinical psychology, psychotherapy, alternative medicine, hygiene, public health, and through various health care providers.
Health care approaches to suffering, however, remain problematic. Physician and author Eric Cassell, widely cited on the subject of attending to the suffering person as a primary goal of medicine, has defined suffering as "the state of severe distress associated with events that threaten the intactness of the person." Cassell writes: "The obligation of physicians to relieve human suffering stretches back to antiquity. Despite this fact, little attention is explicitly given to the problem of suffering in medical education, research or practice." Mirroring the traditional body and mind dichotomy that underlies its teaching and practice, medicine strongly distinguishes pain from suffering, and most attention goes to the treatment of pain. Nevertheless, physical pain itself still lacks adequate attention from the medical community, according to numerous reports. Besides, some medical fields like palliative care, pain management (or pain medicine), oncology, or psychiatry, do somewhat address suffering 'as such'. In palliative care, for instance, pioneer Cicely Saunders created the concept of 'total pain' ('total suffering' say now the textbooks), which encompasses the whole set of physical and mental distress, discomfort, symptoms, problems, or needs that a patient may experience hurtfully.
Read more about this topic: Suffering
Famous quotes containing the words health and/or care:
“To thee, fair Freedom! I retire
From flattery, cards, and dice, and din:
Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Than the low cot, or humble inn.
Tis here with boundless powr I reign;
And evry health which I begin
Converts dull port to bright champagne;
Such Freedom crowns it, at an inn.”
—William Shenstone (17141763)
“Our kids will develop a work ethic only if we require them to pay a portion of the cost of some of the things they want. Theyll learn to defer gratification the moment we stop routinely pulling out our wallets. And theyll learn self-discipline only if we care enough to enforce reasonable limits.”
—Fred G. Gosman (20th century)