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.