Answering a patient about death
A delicate question
This is a call to you about a delicate issue requiring subtlety in wording and understanding.
In a question hour Hazrat Inayat Khan has been asked whether one should tell a dying person about his/her condition? Hazrat Inayat Khan then clearly disadvised to do so. Rather the patient should be encouraged to keep hope for the best. This is my rather rude rendering. I have been searching for the quote but could not trace it.
In my opinion such a case will hardly happen anymore due to the openness and frankness current in the medical profession.
Some questions therefore. It addresses both professionals and others.
- can you trace the quote?
- let us try and understand the motives of Inayat Khan; please give your suggestions
- please suggest ways in which you as a Sufi have faced a situation where a person you met had been told that his chances of cure are less or none
- can we together work out how the concept of the soul could work out in solving the question? It may help to develop perspectives how to deal with the person in such situation. Let’s keep in mind that the soul departing includes both mind and heart – spirit in Inayat Khan’s terminology.
Ophiel van Leer
31 mei 2017 @ 22:41
A few years ago a very dear friend of mine left this world due to a cancer disease.
I visited him during what later appeared to be one of his final days in hospital .
It was very clear to me that he was in his final stage of life.
Still, he was having hope to recover, and asked my wife, who is a naturopath:
“I am sure I can be healed, don’t you think so?”
Of course she and also me, we answered with “yes!” and this was clearly what he wished to hear; this made him happy.
So out of this experience, I understand Hazrat Inayat Khans point of view.
1 juni 2017 @ 20:52
Nice to meet aagain! Thanks for your posting. Yes, a very clear case.
Invitation to readers haing experience. Welcome.
10 augustus 2016 @ 17:13
Yes, Daina, thank you for your contribution. I agree that this is a right conduct in more cases than is done in current practice. It depends however on the situation and the view on life and death of that patient.
An hour ago I happened to find an article in today’s NRC newspaper precisely about the importance of hope as a quality which may help the patient to gradually see and understand that his life is ending. Hope opens a perspective for a growing conscioussness of life and its end. On the other side, a person who is expecting to recover and and resume life is not prepared to face death when it is brutally announced. It is a devastating blow.
I will come back to the issue later on.
10 augustus 2016 @ 14:54
Like Murshid i think that it is not good idea to tell to one his or her sickness will result in death because hope as he said is the honey of life