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J Palliat Care. 2007 Spring;23(1):40-3.

Is courage the counterpoint of demoralization?

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1
Department of Pain and Palliative Care, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Australia, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To consider the role courage plays in our ability to cope with threat and adversity, especially the role of courage in understanding demoralization and dignity.

METHOD:

By exploring standard psychiatric texts and Aristotle's concept of courage and virtue. A review of Medline and PsycINFO provided few relevant documents, reflecting the paucity of research on the concept of courage in psychiatry, palliative care, and psycho-oncology.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

Courage is an important precursor to maintaining morale and therefore may play a critical causative role in demoralization. Courage is also intimately related to the concepts of self-esteem, free will, and personal values in life. The utility of the concept of courage is that it enables a response to a difficult circumstance. The main drawback of courage in a therapeutic sense is that it is often linked with cowardice, which has a pejorative connotation and is notoriously difficult to diagnose.

PMID:
17444461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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