MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF PERSONHOOD IN PALLIATIVE CARE
Keywords:Palliative Care, personhood, hope, Spiritual Care, suffering, Transcendence
The integrity of personhood refers to the wholeness or intactness of the self in all its diverse aspects. Life threatening illness can compromise the intactness of the self in many ways, four of which are examined here ; the resultant suffering can be understood as spiritual pain, since spirituality and the integration of the self are closely connected. The needs of persons faced with the threat of dis-integration of the self are examined, and it is suggested that such needs may be best met by carers in four ways :- by Seeing, Listening, Loving , Respecting the Mystery. To do this requires not so much professional expertise as a way of being, a quality of presence which depends upon who we really are, as persons.
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