Minister to suffering

Minister to suffering

The fundamental human perspective of our culture is sensing others’ needs in an environment of patient- and family-centered care. As we fulfill our duty in supporting our mission, sensing others’ needs is critical in the human awareness of the patient. In using our senses to be aware of the patients’ needs, we recognize and support their suffering.

By considering the human plight of suffering, we can become more fully engaged in the dynamics patients and their families are facing in the healthcare setting. By suffering we mean that the patient is undergoing an experience of pain, misery, anxiety, loss of control, and loss of their comfort zone. 

As part of our sensing, we need to realize this suffering and have empathy for the human biopsychosocial burden [understood as the biological, psychological, and social aspects in contrast to the strictly biomedical aspects of disease] that our patients and their families are trying to cope with in their journey of life.

I ask that we let our passion guide us as we empathize with the dark, unfathomed canopy that our patients and their families strive under during their care in today’s hospitals–these modern cathedrals of caring for the bodies, and souls, of others. Let us mindfully sense the needs of others and minister to this suffering.

Sincerely,

Ed Piper, Ph.D.

Former President & Chief Executive Officer, 2000-2016

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