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Finding Hope and Healing When Cure Is Not Possible

by MD Brad Stuart, Tracey Danaher, PhDb, Rana Awdish, MD, FCCPc, Leonard Berry, PhDd,e
Mayo Clinic Proceedings XXX 2019, 1-9

This article examines how clinicians can help affected families find their way from “focused hope” (which centers on cure) to “intrinsic hope,” which offers a more realistic and resilient emotional foundation as the child’s death approaches and letting go becomes essential.

“Clinicians can avoid the mindset of “nothing more can be done,” emphasizing that there is plenty to do in providing physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort. Clinicians can learn how to be “unconditionally present” for patients and families without immersing themselves in anguish and, eventually, how to help the family find freedom from despair and a full life that still honors the child’s memory.”

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