Meaning in Suffering
Caring Practices in the Health Professions
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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No volume comes to fruition without the contributions of many people. Although we cannot name all of the generous people who offered their time, wisdom, and talent, we would like to particularly acknowledge the following people: Nancy Diekelemann and Pamela Ironside for their wise guidance and encouragement. Kathryn H. Kavanagh for her contribution to this volume, astute...
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When we suffer personally, and when we encounter the suffering of another person, we are confronted with many questions. A taken-for-granted and apparently robust future now jeopardized leaves in its place a hollow of uncertainty and fragility. Painfully unsettling, suffering seems to call forth a natural human proclivity to distance oneself from the specter...
1: Meaning in Suffering: A Patchwork Remembering
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Dr. Rain appeared, the bulging pockets on her white jacket straining its center button. She absentmindedly squelched buzzing apparatuses while looking around the room at the four of us and ascertaining our relationships with her patient. She then addressed herself to Joanne: “Well, the chances are about 10% of surviving a year without treatment.” She...
2: The Gift of Suffering
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In this paper I aim to focus attention on suffering in a way that seeks to be useful to the healthcare professional. I argue that suffering is a gift to both sufferer and healer and that the way the gift becomes present to them is through their interaction in what well-known phenomenologist Calvin Schrag calls a “fitting response” to the call of the other in the visage of the neighbor...
3: Finding Meaning in Adversity
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Finding meaning and joy in one’s circumstances, rather than being overtaken, diminished, and embittered by life’s inevitable adversities, constitutes a universal human challenge. Yet knowledge about this subject is fragmentary and sparse. Although empirically based models have been proposed that address the basic human needs that are disrupted by adversity and...
4: Narrative Phenomenology: Exploring Stories of Grief and Dying
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As a way of putting the death of a loved family member or friend into perspective, people tell stories. They discuss who the deceased person was in life, how the person died, and what their own life has been like since the death. During the conduct of a needs assessment study that inquired about the resources people needed to assist them with grieving...
5: Wish Fulfillment for Children with Life-Threatening Illnesses
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Children with life-threatening illnesses are subjected to numerous treatments and procedures. They often experience enormous physical and emotional pain and suffering as attempts are made to prolong their life. Desperately dependent on the medical system for their survival, these children and their families often experience hopelessness and helplessness due...
6: Moral Meanings of Caring for the Dying
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What is it like for nurses to care for dying individuals who are suffering? I have experienced and reflected upon this experience in countless ways. As an educator I found that this particular journey heightened as I pursued and completed doctoral studies. I began this inquiry at the side of nine palliative care nurses who willingly, openly, and quite profoundly...
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Publication Year: 2007