Spiritual and moral aspects of incurable disease

Zh.D. Semidotska, I.A. Cherniakova, M.Yu. Neffa, I.S. Karmazina


The article discusses the spiritual, psychological, and social problems that arise in patients suffering from a severe incurable disease as well as their doctors. Discussion discourse outlines views on disease and dying as on states that open up new opportunities for understanding the value of life, realizing the meaning and significance of death, reassessing life priorities, for self-realization and self-improvement at the final stage of the life path. The development of human spirituality is viewed as an evolutionarily and genetically conditioned process aimed at adapting to changes in the external and internal environment, achieving the highest possible quality of life in a given situation. Improving the quality of life, maintaining the dignity of the patient in the terminal stage of the disease is one of the most important goals of the modern healthcare system in general and palliative medicine in particular. Palliative care unites spiritual, psychological, physical, social aspects of the disease, provides spiritual and moral support for the patient’s human dignity at the end of his life. When providing palliative care to patients who believe in God, one must respect their religious values and maintain the belief in the immortality of the soul. Protecting the dignity of the patient, an acceptable quality of life is seen as an essential human right. Care for the protection of this right from the beginning to the end of life is the most important priority of a civilized society.


life; death; disease; spirituality; palliative medicine


Vandeman G. Zhizn posle smerti [Life after death]. Moscow, “Lotest”; 2004: 224 p. (in Russian).

Mudi R. Zhizn posle zhizni [Life after life]. In the book: Smert i posle… [Life and after…]. St. Petersburg: SPIKS; 1994: 143-244. (in Russian).

Ford A. Zhizn posle smerti [Life after death]. In the book: Smert i posle… [Life and after…]. St. Petersburg: SPIKS; 1994: 1-138. (in Russian).

Simonton C., Simonton S. Psikhoterapiia raka [Psychotherapy of cancer]. St. Petersburg: “Piter”; 2001: 285 p. (in Russian).

Sonders S. Help the dying. Zdorov'e mira, 1982; 1: 16. (in Russian).

Matrenitskii V.А. Kantserogennyi um. Psikhosomaticheskie mekhanizmy raka. Rukovodstvo po psikhoonkologii [Carcinogenic mind. Psychosomatic mechanisms of cancer. Manual on psycho-oncology]. Kiev: KIM, 2017: 572 p. (in Russian).

Tedesch R.G., Calhoun L.G. Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological inquiry. 2004; 15 (1): 1-18.

Ialom I. Ekzistentsialnaia psikhoterapiia [Existential psychotherapy]. Moscow: Klass, 2000: 576 p. (in Russian).

Milam J.E. Posttraumatic growth among HIV/AIDS patients. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 2004; 34: 2353-2376.

Armstrong L., Jenkins S. Vozvrashchenie k zhizni o sporte i pobede nad rakom [My journey back to life: it’s not about the bike. Moscow: Alpina non-fiction, 2009: 432 p. (in Russian).

LeShan L. Cancer as a Turning Point. A Handbook for People with Cancer, Their Families, and Health Professionals. New-York: Plume Books, 198:. 258 p.

Gnezdilov А.V. Psikhologiia i psikhoterapiia poter Posobie po palliativnoi meditsine [Psychology and psychotherapy of losses. A Handbook on Palliative Medicine]. St. Petersburg: Rech, 2002: 112 p. (in Russian).

Kubler-Ross E. О smerti i umiranii [About death and dying]. Kiev: Sofia, 2001: 320 p. (in Russian).

Belaia kniga standarty i normy khospisnoi i palliativnoi pomoshchi v Evrope chast 1 [White Paper: Standards and Norms of Hospice and Palliative Care in Europe: Part 1]. Palliative care and rehabilitation. 2014; 1: 24-39. (in Russian).

Khospisy. Sbornik materialov literaturnyi obzor rekomendatelnye i spravochnye materialy 2-e izd. ispr. i dop. [Hospices. Collection of materials: a literature review, recommendations and reference materials. 2 nd ed., rev. and enl.]. Moscow: charity fund for hospices “Vera”. 2011: 28-29. (in Russian).

Troshin V.D. Strategiia i taktika preventivnoi nevrologii [Strategy and tactics of preventive neurology]. Medical almanac. 2011; 1: 37-44. (in Russian).

Frankl V. Osnovnye poniatiia logoterapii [Main definitions of logotherapy]. In the book: Doctor i dusha [Doctor and soul]. St. Petersburg: Iuveniti. 1997: 242-279. (in Russian).

Voronenko Ju.V., Gubs'kij Ju.G., Tsarenko A.V. Pytannja pidgotovky kadriv ta rozvytok naukovyh doslidzhen' z paliatyvnoi' medycyny jak peredumova stvorennja suchasnoi' systemy paliatyvnoi' ta hospisnoi' dopomogy v Ukrai'ni [The issue of training and development of scientific research on palliative medicine as a prerequisite for the creation of a modern system of palliative and hospice care in Ukraine]. Mizhnarodnyj zhurnal reabilitacija ta paliatyvna medycyna – International Journal of Rehabilitation and Palliative Medicine 2015; 2 (2): 59-66. (in Ukrainian).

Ekzarkhov V., Bezpalchii А., Goncharenko А., Ekzarkhova V. Pomnit ob ukhodiashchikh [Remember about the outgoing]. Materialy po palliativnoi i khospisnoi pomoshchi [Materials on palliative and hospice care]. Kharkiv, 2014: 377 p. (in Russian).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22141/2224-0586.1.88.2018.124965


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 EMERGENCY MEDICINE

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


© Publishing House Zaslavsky, 1997-2018


   Seo анализ сайта