Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Beginning with Eric Cassell’s much-cited definition of suffering, this essay engages with Scott Samuelson’s Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering (2018). How each of Samuelson’s seven ways is relevant to health care and bioethics is suggested through various examples. The discussion underscores the crucial choice for health-care professionals between being an expert technician who provides treatment or being a healer, in an expansive sense first described by Cassell and elaborated by extending Samuelson’s useful typology. Also at issue is Samuelson’s title word pointless. Samuelson’s seven ways each attempt to make suffering seem to have a point. The essay questions whose needs are met, either by declaring suffering pointless, or by asserting what its point is. Examples relate these issues to clinical practice.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 352-365
Launched on MUSE
2019-07-01
Open Access
No
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