|Few experiences stir the emotions and throw a person into crisis as much as illness does, affecting not only the body
but the spirit and soul. Unfortunately the current health-care system is not structured around these considerations. Doctors
and other medical professionals are trained to treat the body part or organ, not the whole person. Despite the scientific
advancements of modern medicine, the hospital can be a cold, sterile environment—and for that reason alone, people are
not finding overall health and well-being in many of our health centers. |
Care of the Soul in Medicine is Thomas Moore's vision for improving health care. Moore speaks to the importance of healing a person rather than simply
treating a body.
"This book is a kind of manifesto, written by someone
who is a reflective patient and not a physician or medical researcher. It's a wake-up call and an initial charting of
a new, all-embracing approach to medicine. It is not a grand detour into some New Age and esoteric kind of "healing,"
but a close examination of medicine as it is practiced today, with suggestions from a layman for how it could expand and embrace
the whole person. While sharing stories from his personal and professional life, Thomas
Moore gives advice to both health-care providers and patients for maintaining dignity and humanity, providing spiritual guidance
for dealing with feelings of mortality and threat, and encouraging patients to not only take an active part in healing but
also to view illness as a positive passage to new awareness. While we don't fully understand the extent to which healing
depends on attitude, it has been shown that healing the body depends upon more than treating the sum of its parts.
There can be no doubt now that there is a serious movement in our culture toward a new way of
being. In all areas, including medicine, old philosophies are breaking up and a new vision is falling into place. Religious
institutions are facing the challenge of a more personal and immediate spirituality. In the United States, a black man and
a woman competed for the presidency of the country, and the black man became president.
The turn of a century,
to say nothing of a millennium, invites us to rethink where we have arrived and what we're doing here. This is a good
time—this year, this decade—to imagine a different future for medicine. This is the time to move in a new direction
and not merely expand on the old one. This is the time for us all to become healers of persons rather than technicians of
The future of medicine is not only in new technical developments and research discoveries; it is also in appreciating the
state of the soul and spirit in illness, and redefining the way in which the patient is cared for.
"Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul in Medicine is an unusually thoughtful exploration
of current medical culture and its focus on treatment and cure, often at the expense of caring and healing. He makes an inspirational
and convincing case for true transformation in health care that goes beyond our fascination with technology to encompass heart,
mind, and spirit."
— Susan B. Frampton, Ph.D., president of Planetree, a nonprofit organization and
internationally recognized leader in patient-centered care
"I wish Care of the Soul in Medicine
had been available when I was a medical student, because it is one of the wisest guides for health-care professionals I have
ever read. Moore shows that without attention to the spirit, there can be no true healing. If taken seriously, the wisdom
in his book could transform medicine in America. This book is desperately needed by patients, too, and by all those who love
and care for them."
—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Power of Premonitions
and Healing Words
"Care of the Soul in Medicine may be your best friend through
illness, and a life-giving companion for many who seek to reclaim the joy they once knew in the healing arts."
—Rev. Dr. Marcus M. McKinney, D.Min., LPC, director, Department of Pastoral Counseling and Community
Outreach, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; and assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut
School of Medicine
"Moore sees the mechanics of medicine, and offers another view that has its roots
in the beginnings of medical care, in the Soul of a caregiver. It is a thoughtful book for patients, families, caregivers,
and all of us who will eventually enter the realm of medical care (and we all will)."
Doebler, director, Pastoral Care, Emeritus, University of Tennessee Medical Center