Abstract
Inasmuch as unmitigated pain and suffering areoften thought to rob human beings of theirdignity, physicians and other care providersincur a special duty to relieve pain andsuffering when they encounter it. When pain andsuffering cannot be controlled it is sometimesthought that human dignity is compromised.Death, it is sometimes argued, would bepreferred to a life without dignity.Reasoning such as this trades on certainpreconceptions of the nature of pain andsuffering, and of their relationships todignity. The purpose of this paper is to laybare these preconceptions. The duties torelieve pain and suffering are clearly mattersof moral obligation, as is the duty to respondappropriately to the dignity of other persons.However, it is argued that our understanding ofthe phenomena of pain and suffering and theirrelationships to human dignity will be expandedwhen we explore the aesthetic dimensions ofthese various concepts. On the view presentedhere the life worth living is both morally goodand aesthetically beautiful. Appropriate``suffering with'''' another can help to maintainand restore the dignity of the relationshipsinvolved, even as it preserves and enhances thedignity of patient and caregiver alike.
Keywords aesthetics  compassion  dignity  ethics  organic unity  pain  suffering  sympathy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1019521923979
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,078
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Political Theories of Choice and Dignity.Robert E. Goodin - 1981 - American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (2):91 - 100.
In Defense of the Dignity of Being Human.Willard Gaylin - 1984 - Hastings Center Report 14 (4):18-22.
Preamble.[author unknown] - 1999 - Augustinian Studies 30 (1):19-20.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Gunther Von Hagens' Body Worlds: Selling Beautiful Education.Lawrence Burns - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):12 – 23.
Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Painfulness is Not a Quale.Austen Clark - 2005 - In Murat Aydede (ed.), Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press.
Death with Dignity.P. Allmark - 2002 - Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (4):255-257.
Suffering and the Goals of Medicine.Stan van Hooft - 1998 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 1 (2):125-131.
Pain and Masochism.Irwin Goldstein - 1983 - Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (3):219-223.
Pain, Suffering, and Anxiety in Animals and Humans.David DeGrazia & Andrew Rowan - 1991 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 12 (3).
Human Dignity as a Right.Shaoping Gan - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (3):370-384.
Pain and Suffering.David E. Boeyink - 1974 - Journal of Religious Ethics 2 (1):85 - 98.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
155 ( #74,526 of 2,498,944 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #210,368 of 2,498,944 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes