The Nature of Suffering

By Vincent Maire

This presentation gives an insight into the nature of suffering and what it means for patients, especially patients in palliative care. While the talk is from the perspective of end-of-life care, it will be of interest to anyone involved in supporting someone though a crisis. During the talk, Rod MacLeod suggests six questions that can be used to help a person describe their suffering.

“I know you have pain, but are there things worse than your pain?”

“Are you frightened by all this?”

“What exactly are you frightened of?”

“What do you worry is going to happen to you?”

“What is the worst thing about all this?”

“How long did yesterday seem to you?”

Rod MacLeod has recently retired as palliative care specialist at Harbour Hospice, Auckland, New Zealand. He has held academic positions at both University of Auckland and University of Sydney and is a consultant to HammondCare, Sydney, Australia.

This presentation was originally published at The Palliative Care Bridge is a state-wide, palliative care education program coordinated and delivered by the HammondCare consortium, comprising HammondCare, Sacred Heart Health Service and Calvary Healthcare Sydney.

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