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Palliative - Spectrum of Homeopathy 02/2016
The care of the dying and the incurably sick poses a special challenge for homeopaths since it requires setting aside Hahnemann’s principle of a rapid, gentle, and enduring cure in favour of other treatment goals. It is all about minimising suffering and improving the quality of life, while remaining open to the possibility of astonishing inner healing processes, which can greatly ease the transitional phase at the end of life.
As with obstetrics at the beginning of life, a modest number of remedies is adequate for palliative homeopathic treatment for the terminally ill. Classic examples of remedies used for the dying are Arsenicum album, Carbo vegetabilis or Opium. The areas of application for these and other homeopathic remedies for the typical psychological and physical problems of the terminal phase are exemplified in case histories of restlessness, anxiety, breathlessness, weakness, and anorexia. There is discussion on the methodological aspects in the evaluation of symptoms, potency selection, repetition, and the alternation of remedies, as well as the question of the use of constitutional remedies when the life force is almost extinguished.