The sense of suffering

Medical practice is animated by the intention to cure; it aims to relieve the immense variety of sufferings to which human beings are subject in virtue of the conditions of their embodied existence. My purpose here is to demonstrate how a philosophical analysis of the formal structures and kinds of human suffering provides an essential foundation for determining certain ethical dimensions of the physician's relation to his suffering patient. Can paternalism in medical practice be justified by the aim of relieving suffering? What are the scope and limits of the patient's responsibility for his suffering, and what difference does this make in the physician's response to it? How is the suffering that medical treatment itself exacts in the name of cure to be justified? Such questions can be answered only by an analysis of the sense or value of suffering in human life. Keywords: suffering, sin, autonomy, paternalism, patient values CiteULike Connotea What's this?
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/11.1.39
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