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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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The challenge of illness and pain

The challenge of illness and pain

(p.3) Chapter 1 The challenge of illness and pain
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

This chapter draws out how people respond differently to the incidence of personal illness; to pain and its causes whether physical, psychological, emotional or spiritual. It is suggested that whatever the cause of pain, it can be both disruptive and destructive. It considers different levels of stress and psychological needs experienced by patients and the various attitudes towards it. The inability to cure is not seen as a defeat but as a challenge to advance medicine and care. The difference between ‘curing’ and ‘healing’ is considered. While complementary, the discussion brings into focus the different methods and goals of the two approaches. ‘Healing’ is more widely focused on the whole person. Its goal is not only to remove symptoms and extend life expectancy, but to create the circumstances enhancing quality of life.

Keywords:   pain, ‘curing’ and ‘healing’, psychological needs, stress in illness, quality of life, life-altering illness

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