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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


ZAMORA MARIN, René. Disease and the meaning of suffering. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.1. ISSN 0864-3466.

This article addresses the problem of suffering in the sick person and defines it as the lack of wellbeing. Not always can moderate state of physical pain be considered suffering as such. The only way of eliminating suffering and turning it into joy and peace is to find the meaning. The patient who suffers should be capable of turning the meaning of his/her pain into an ally, aided by himself/herself and by his/her physician. Beyond any doubt, this is the biggest challenge that a sick person may meet. Futile suffering is the logical explanation of why one truly and fully suffers, the highest expression of which is the moral suffering that even when it disappears, it always leaves behind lasting impressions that continue to be the object of grief. This is the reason why the morale of each patient must be boosted; this is an action that is part of the art of curing as such, a task that all physicians are called upon to perform. Therefore, the physicians, who are the ones that treat suffering people on a regular basis, should cultivate a culture of the meaning of suffering for their patients and for them.

Palabras clave : Suffering; wellbeing; meaning of suffering; morale; art of curing.

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