Author(s): Hawthorne DL, Yurkovich NJ
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Palliative care is a philosophy of care for individuals experiencing progressive, incurable disease. It encompasses two dynamics, science-based practice and relationship between patient, family, and health professional. Each dynamic is essential for quality palliative care, yet the requisites for each are different. METHODS: The scientific process of observation and measurement requires differentiation, distance, and detachment to fulfill its demands for objectivity, whereas relationship, unobservable and immeasurable, requires sameness, closeness, and connection of a shared humanity. It is science, however, the prevailing world-view, that shapes our thinking and consequently, influences the education and practice of health professionals. RESULTS: We explore the dynamics of science and relationship and the incongruities between them. We examine the prominence of science in palliative care and its impact on relationship. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: We contend that questioning the current emphasis of science in palliative care and discovering the joy and rewards of shared human experience will enrich the quality of life for patients, families, and health professionals.
This article was published in Palliat Support Care
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine