Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Approach illness as a mystery, not a problem

Seeds for Sanctuary features a review of Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul in Medicine by Susan Corso. Corso describes herself as a medical intuitive who regularly works with clients seeking medical help. She writes,
"To address soul in medicine is to approach illness as a mystery, not a problem to be solved, says the wise Mr. Moore. Causes and cures, inasmuch as we like to codify everything are individual in individuals. That’s why they’re called individuals. It would be extremely helpful for all medical students to learn about their own psychological issues so that they could more adeptly deal with those of their patients. What a simple, powerful idea, Mr. Moore! Addressing their own human limitations could go a long way toward compassion for patients in doctors. A quality rated highly, to be sure, but elusive nonetheless.

Mechanized medicine insists that our bodies are mechanisms. On a beasty level, of course they are, and yet, there are soulful and spiritual aspects to all beings, even atheists, bless them. The body is actually an expression of the soul, the principle expression. It’s the vehicle/temple we get to do life in. It is a mystery all its own and that mystery, like all mysteries, deserves both respect and curiosity."
Corso's post includes the mission statement of Planetree, an organization devoted to patient-centred healthcare. In his book, Moore comments, "A glance at Planetree's mission statement tells us that it's possible in these action-oriented times to pay attention to the human side of things." (p.49)

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