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The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine


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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second edition 1: Ideas in Conflict: The Rise and Fall of New Views of Disease 2: The Changing Concept of the Ideal Physician 3: The Nature of Suffering 4: Suffering in Chronic Illness 5: The Mysterious Relationship Between Doctor and Patient 6: How to Understand Diseases 7: The Pursuit of Disease or the Care of the Sick? 8: Treating the Disease, the Body, or the Patient 9: The Doctor and the Patient 10: Who is This Person? 11: The Measure of the Person 12: The Clinician's Experience: Power Versus Magic in Medicine 13: Mind and Body 14: The Illness Called Dying 15: Pain and Suffering Epilogue

About the Author

Eric J Cassell is Clinical Professor of Public Health at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and an attending physician at The New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He is a Fellow and a member of the Board of Directors of the Hastings Center, as well as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a Master of the American College of Physicians. His recent books include Changing Values in Medicine, Talking with Patients, and Doctoring.


[The author's] position is humane and compassionate and willing to address that which scares many clinicians - uncertainty and imperfection. I highly recommend this thorough and thoughtful book to anyone who grapples with the problem of human suffering in the midst of illness. Palliative Medicine, 18 Cassell's arguments and discussions are clear and logical and his style makes it a pleasure to read. It is also clinically practical, with many case histories used to introduce and illustrate the discussion. Highly recommended. IAHPC Website

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