The Nature of Healing: The Modern Practice of Medicine

Hardcover | November 1, 2012

byEric J. Cassell

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Currently and for centuries past, sickness has been understood to be primarily the physical result of bodily disease. Yet this definition of illness is out-of-date and untrue to life at a time when chronic illness and the problems of disability and aging are increasingly common. When personsare sick, it pervades their whole being. The Nature of Healing is based on a different definition of sickness, one that recognizes persons as sick when they cannot achieve their goals and purposes because of impairments of function, ranging from the molecular to the spiritual, which they believe to fall under the scope of medicine. Suchimpairments may result from disease, but certainly not all.As the sick person has increasingly become the focus of medicine, there have been repeated but mostly failed attempts to achieve both technological and humanistic goals in caring for patients. This approach is flawed because there is only one ultimate goal - the well-being of the patient. Whether itinvolves the personal action of the clinician or the use of technology, everything done toward the goal of well-being is part of the healing enterprise. In this book, Eric Cassell explores what sickness is, what persons are, and how to understand function and its impairments. He explains healing skills and actions, as well as the nature of healing for sick and suffering patients. This book concludes with a discussion of the moral basis of therelationship between patient and healer, as well as the goals of healing.

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Currently and for centuries past, sickness has been understood to be primarily the physical result of bodily disease. Yet this definition of illness is out-of-date and untrue to life at a time when chronic illness and the problems of disability and aging are increasingly common. When personsare sick, it pervades their whole being. The ...

Eric J. Cassell is an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, as well as Emeritus Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at McGill University. He retired from the active practice of internal medicine in 1998, after thirty-seven years. Cassell is the author of The He...

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The Nature of Clinical Medicine
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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019536905X

ISBN - 13:9780195369052

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Table of Contents

1. Sickness2. The Person, Sick or Well3. Functioning4. What is Healing?5. Listening: The Foundation of the Healing Relationship of Patient and Clinician6. The Evaluation of the Patient7. The Evaluation of the Patient8. The Patient's Reaction to Illness9. The State of Illness10. Healing the Sick Patient11. Healing the Suffering Patient12. Respect for Persons and Autonomy13. Purposes, Goals, and Well-Being