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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 9

of 'Psychosocial issues in advanced illness'

The nature of suffering and the nature of opportunity at the end of life.
Byock IR
Clin Geriatr Med. 1996;12(2):237.
Encountering a patient who is suffering in the midst of terminal illness is an all-too-common occurrence for clinicians who care for the elderly. This article explores the personal experience of suffering in the context of life-limiting illness. The concept of personhood is used to illuminate the nature of suffering. Clinical observation documents that some persons experience a subjectively heightened sense of well-being as they die. The concept of personhood and the model of life-long human development is applied to the explication of this apparent paradox, enabling an understanding of the nature of opportunity at the end of life.
Palliative Care Service, Missoula, Montana, USA.