"In palliative care, the object of gratitude on the part of patients and families is not health, but being treated as a person."
Mariano Crespo, partner of ATLANTES Global Observatory of Palliative Care, presented together with María Arantzamendi and Carlos Centeno the book 'Gratitud y cuidados paliativos' at high school de Médicos de Madrid.
23 | 03 | 2023
"Gratitude has as its object a good goal for the person. But in the case of palliative care it is not strictly speaking health; what patients and family members are fundamentally grateful for is being treated as a person. It is a value that needs to be raised". This was stated at the high school of Doctors of Madrid (ICOMEM) by Mariano Crespo, Full Professor of Philosophy of the University of Navarra and partner of the ATLANTES Global Observatory of Palliative Care of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS).
The expert spoke at the presentation of the book Gratitud y cuidados paliativos. A dialogue between philosophers and clinicians, which he co-edited with María Arantzamendi. In addition to them, the event was attended by Carlos Centeno, researcher principal of ATLANTES; Luisa Gonzalez, vice-president of ICOMEM; and Javier Rocafort, president of the ICOMEM Scientific Care committee .
Mariano Crespo said that, although the clinic and Philosophy have very different methodologies, "there are also synergies". He indicated that the project of research of the ICS in which this volume is framed "has shown that dialogue is necessary".
For her part, María Arantzamendi highlighted one of the main conclusions of the book: "The caring relationship that is established between the person who is ill, his or her family and the palliative care professional brings about a change in both: in the ill person, the family member and the professional. In this sense, he added that "arelationship is established that is so deep, authentic and personalized that it can even be healing for all the parties involved".
The ICS researcher stressed that, even in such difficult situations, these people "are capable of approaching professionals and thanking them. Thus, "in a context in which it may seem that everything is very black, there is also a lot of color and gratitude".
Care from the beginning to the end of life
For her part, Luisa González considered it "very important" for ICOMEM to host the presentation of this book on palliative care by philosophers and clinicians, "which highlights the dual human and scientific aspects of medicine". According to him, it is aligned with the purpose of high school to promote "the message of care from the beginning to the end of life".
This publication is part of the project of research 'The phenomenon of gratitude in palliative care', carried out between 2020 and 2022 by the ATLANTES team. Its goal was to study gratitude in palliative care, both from the perspective of the patient and that of the health professional. In the volume are testimonies of international researchers participating in the International seminar room 'Gratitude and Palliative Care' organized in May 2022 as a closure to the project of research.
The Palliative Medicine line is one of the main axes of the 2025 Strategy of the University of Navarra, which promotes a social impact-oriented research and a scientific production focused, in this case, on the search for personalized solutions for the health care of patients with advanced and serious diseases.