Beyond compassion

replacing a blame culture with proper emotional support and management comment on "why and how is compassion necessary to provide good quality healthcare?"

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The absence of compassion, argues the author, is not the cause of healthcare failures but rather a symptom of deeper systemic failures. The clinical encounter arouses strong emotions of anxiety, fear, and anger in patients which are often projected onto the clinicians. Attempts to protect clinicians through various bureaucratic devices and depersonalization of the patient, constitute as Menzies noted in her classic work, social defences, aimed at containing the anxieties of clinicians but ending up in reinforcing these anxieties. Instead of placing additional burdens on clinicians by bureaucratizing and benchmarking compassion, the author argues that proper emotional management and support is a precondition for a healthcare system that offers humane and effective treatment to patients and a humane working environment for those who work in it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-619
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Health Policy and Management
Volume4
Issue number9
Early online date4 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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Quality of Health Care
Anxiety
Depersonalization
Delivery of Health Care
Benchmarking
Anger
Fear
Emotions
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics

Cite this

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AB - The absence of compassion, argues the author, is not the cause of healthcare failures but rather a symptom of deeper systemic failures. The clinical encounter arouses strong emotions of anxiety, fear, and anger in patients which are often projected onto the clinicians. Attempts to protect clinicians through various bureaucratic devices and depersonalization of the patient, constitute as Menzies noted in her classic work, social defences, aimed at containing the anxieties of clinicians but ending up in reinforcing these anxieties. Instead of placing additional burdens on clinicians by bureaucratizing and benchmarking compassion, the author argues that proper emotional management and support is a precondition for a healthcare system that offers humane and effective treatment to patients and a humane working environment for those who work in it.

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