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Cicely SaundersSelected Writings 1958-2004$
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Cicely Saunders

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570530.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

Spiritual Pain

Spiritual Pain

First published in Journal of Palliative Care, vol. 4, no. 3 (1988), pp. 29–32.

(p.217) 32 Spiritual Pain
Cicely Saunders

Cicely Saunders

Oxford University Press

In 1988, Cicely Saunders published a journal article on spiritual pain, reproduced here. She examines how in the care of the individual in pain, there must be attention to the body, to the family, and to the patient's inner life. For this, expertise in symptom control is required, as well as group understanding, together with an ability to make sense of the inner concerns and values of the person. Above all, there is a need to engage with ‘the whole area of thought concerning moral values throughout life’ — this she defines as ‘the spiritual’. Where a desolate sense of meaninglessness is encountered by the person at the end of life, here, she declares, one finds the essence of ‘spiritual pain’.

Keywords:   symptom control, spiritual pain, inner life, moral values, meaninglessness

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