Pain and Suffering

Janet Abrahm SOG_1426_17.jpg

Presented by Janet Abrahm, MD, FACP, FAAHPM

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the elements of “personhood” as described by Dr. Eric Cassell in his writings (e.g. The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine)

  2. Describe the components of suffering, including loss of elements of personhood

  3. Explain the relationship between pain and suffering, and how suffering can continue even if “pain” is relieved

Janet L. Abrahm, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, is a member of the Adult Palliative Care Division in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has been a full-time palliative medicine specialist for over 20 years. In addition, she practiced for many years as a hematologist and oncologist.

Dr. Abrahm is widely published in the area of palliative care, with a focus on palliative care for men and women with cancer. She served for almost 10 years as part of the leadership team of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and was a member of the examination writing committee for the first Hospice and Palliative Medicine certifying examination offered by the American Board of Internal Medicine. The third edition of her book, A Physician’s Guide to Pain and Symptom Management in Cancer Patients, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014.

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Supportive Care Coalition