Suffering, Hope, and Healing

  • Jack CoulehanEmail author


The words “pain” and “suffering” are so often used together in clinical practice they often seem to merge into a single concept, “pain and suffering.” Writing in the early 1980s, Eric Cassell bemoaned the fact that the medical literature contained few studies that specifically addressed suffering, while many hundreds of reports focused on all aspects of physical and psychological pain (Cassell 1982). Since then, the study of human suffering has advanced considerably, in large part due to the development of palliative medicine as a clinical specialty Wall (1999). Nowadays, clinicians have learned to focus their attention on existential factors not directly dependent on the experience of physical or psychological pain (Kellehear 2009).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and BioethicsStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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