Medical lie leads to a truth

November 21, 2009

Listening to a radio talk show about health care today.  The host read about a study where there was a group of people who all had the same life-threatening disease.  There’s no current treatment for the disease.  Half of the group were told that there was nothing that could help their condition.  The other half were told that science was only 6 months away from an experimental cure.

The study was about how people react to having hope for a cure.  It turned out that the half that were without hope were happier!

They were forced to come to terms with the harsh reality that their days were numbered.  By letting go of hope for a possible cure, they saw each new day as precious, and valued a day as much as they used to value a year before they were ill.

Hope, like worry, can be a burden.  Both are expectations for an uncertain future.  It can be freeing to release it.

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