Is healing possible at the end of life? Answering “yes,” this paper argues that the achievement of holistically conceived health-related goals that patients value is an important dimension of the phenomena of healing and that such achievements are possible at the end of life, especially if hope is adroitly managed. Conceiving of hope: (1) as a set of goal-directed cognitive processes that influence and are influenced by emotion, (2) as a potent cognitive/affective heuristic that influences how individuals consider and select goals, and (3) as an individual experience that occurs in a hierarchical social and cultural ecology of hope, this paper considers possible interventions and how they might be evaluated, seeking to improve the prospects of healing at the end of life.
Feudtner, C. (2005). Hope and the prospects of healing at the end of life. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 11(supplement 1), s-23.