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Compassionate Connection: Practicing Scientific Medicine at the Interface with Spiritually
Jason MacLurg, MD

The pioneering work of Dr. Kubler-Ross helped bring modern scientific medicine to an acceptance of death as a natural aspect of life. The stigma of medical or practitioner failure (surrounding death) is increasingly replaced by the socio-medical doctrine of one's quality of life over quantity of years. Higher quality of life, according to many near-death experiencers (and wise teachers throughout time and cross culturally), seems to contain both meaningful interpersonal and transpersonal connections. Scientific research supports the inclusion of "spirituality" in the healing process. Yet despite our “miraculous” ability to supplant biochemical processes of the body, there has been an undeniable iatrogenic cost to the vitality of the soul of the patient, family, and community. NDE and/or personal spiritual experiences can be introduced into the clinical encounter and can have significant bio-psychosocial-spiritual healing effects. But how does one open the door to bridge the gap between reproducible scientific certainty and the patients' inner realm of spiritual meaning? This interactive session is intended for healthcare providers of all disciplines, but any interested persons are welcome to participate. Building on the work of others plus case examples of my own, I will illustrate techniques to bridge this scientific/spiritual gap in order to include spirituality into the clinical encounter. Audience participation is actively desired so please reflect on your own clinical experiences that you may wish to share with the attendees.

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