All posts tagged: human dignity

Palliative Care and Dignity

To be healed does not mean to be cured. Cure restores a former state of being, an expected state, a comfortable state. Medical treatment and prayers for miracles of cure are powerful and sometimes effective. Healing, however, encompasses a much greater and deeper change in someone’s life. Cure may be part of this, but is not a necessary part. Healing opens up a new life, a new way of understanding oneself, a new way of loving others. Healing may not be physical, it may be emotional, psychological or relational. Culturally, there has been an increasing expectation of cure, and the medical accomplishments of the last century are truly incredible. At the same time, however, these expectations can make healing more difficult, especially at the end of life where people may become angry that they could not be cured, and fearful of dying. Thankfully, palliative care, with the emphasis of healing rather than cure, is gaining increasing support and acknowledgement. I am not an expert, but I have had the privilege of working in a hospice. …