desire … hope … infinite humanity

“The desire of man even during a disease is the desire for a meaning for which life is worth living. If the physiological cure is the most immediate manifestation of this need, it is also true that the physiological cure alone is not enough, because man, although unconsciously, asks for more. He asks for something which can be reliable even within the limitations which the disease imposes upon him.

A healing relationship cannot truly be achieved without introducing this dimension into professional activity, a dimension resonating with the certainty of a positive outcome that no disease, by itself, can deny. This is the great responsibility of every healthcare worker: to carry this assurance in every action. No special skill is required to achieve this. It does, however, require great, infinite humanity.”

Bordin’s full commentary on the painting is here in Journal of Medicine and the Person.