Integrity of the human being and the choice of treatment
Paolo Roberti di Sarsina, MD, President Charity for Person Centered Medicine-Moral Entity, Bologna, Italy
Pain is in reality the experience of pain. A state which escapes the demarcation that exists between ontic and ontological realities, measured pain and experienced pain, objectivity and subjectivity. Pain manifested in a person is physical, psychic and spiritual with a dignity that, with absolute respect for the nature in every sentient being, emerges prior to any decision of a course of therapeutic action. It is on this point of attribution of its value that the “Associazione per la Medicina Centrata sulla Persona ONLUS-Ente Morale” (Association for Person Centered Medicine, the Italian Charity, raised to moral entity, devoted to the paradigm of Person Centered Medicine) has its gravitational center when it comes to a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the sick person. This is because pain is a complex experience, at times invalidating, conditional at the same time conditioned by the climate, the surroundings, one’s diet, social relationships, one’s income and various other factors that determine one’s state of health. We also believe that the cure for pain is not directly related with the synergy existent between various work and professional sectors. This is the rationale behind the decision we have taken before adhering to initiatives like the network “Impact ProActive di Firenze”, an association that sustains a practical application of the Italian Law 38/2010 concerning palliative medicine or other conventions like the “Fondazione ANT Italia ONLUS di Bologna” (the biggest oncology foundation charity in Italy), thanks to which we have the possibility of dispensing cost-free acupuncture treatments to the helpers of our foundation. In fact we recognize the value of Traditional Medicine, Complementary and Alternative that have a proven efficacy with which it is possible to cure or plan a cure for people through a non reductional approach (just as the WHO decreed many years ago). Every single pathology is constituted by objective symptoms that are measurable and other subjective symptoms expressed by the afflicted patient, that the physician, along with other professionals in the working sector can understand solely through an approach that can only be defined as maieutical between the internal world of perceptions of the patient and the external world in which pain must find a justification and above all cure and attention.
This article was originally published in Italian in “Il Sole 24 Ore”, an Italian national daily business newspaper. English translation courtesy of the author.