«Medicine of the Person»
sees the patient as a physical, mental and emotional unity in his family and other social surroundings.

It is the expression of an attitude towards the patient regardless to the specific qualification of the doctor or of the function of a therapist.


The society convenes every year in a different country in Europe for a three day conference preceded by three days of relaxing and exploring an attractive region of Europe. Each year a different theme is selected and talks and bible studies are delivered on that theme, followed by confidential discussions in small groups where each participant can explore the relevance of what they have heard to their medical practice and to their personal journey.

The aim is to develop and live the Medicine of the Person in our contemporary world.

Zinzendorfhaus Neudietendorf

2nd to 5th August 2023
Neudietendorf (DE)

"Health care challenge –
Can we reconcile what patients
expect of us with what we are
able to deliver?"

complete programme
and further information

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Choose a year

2022 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002
2022 Solitude and Isolation in Healthcare
72th International conference of Medicine of the Person in Doorn, Holland. As we are interested in caring for the whole person, we are regularly attentive to the symptoms presented by our patients, taking into account their family, social, emotional and spiritual environment and their expectations, before discussing possible treatment options with them. Our patients may feel very lonely and confused about their illness because no one has taken the time to check what they understood from the explanation given in hospital or in town. They also come to us alone because they don't have any relatives to accompany them and sometimes their doctor is the only person they can talk to about their problems. How can we help these patients who confide their difficulties and sorrows to us? Could we use solitude and meditation to help us to care for our patients better and avoid feeling isolated and alone?
2019 Patients without capacity
With our interest in treating the whole per- son, we routinely explore our patients sym- ptoms and signs to make diagnosis, and concurrently consider their domestic, social, emotional and religious identity along with their expectations before formulating with them treating options. Ultimately they make decisions on treatment after weighting up all possibilities. But what should we do when patients lack the physical, emotional or intellectual capa- city to make these decisions? How do our own values influence decisions? Indeed, should they? What do we do when our patients cannot appreciate the significan- ce of decisions we ask them to consider? What if they cannot, or will not recognise a problem, let alone appreciate benefits and risks of the decisions that affect them? Are our values influencing their decisions?
2018 The art and science of medicine
In Paris, during this 2018 meeting of the international group of médecine de la personne, open to all in the caring professions interested in the role of relationship in care, our speakers talked about topics to do with the tension between science and how we care for patients in practice. For science is universal whereas practical care is specific to the individual. The topics included the role of evidence based medicine, of placebo, the beliefs of the doctor and the future of medicine, spirituality and medical research. The art of caring for a patient comprises one part mystery allied to the personality of the professional providing care, their personal history, their deepest motivations whether conscious or unconscious. In our small groups, we discussed together current scientific thought, how we practice care, what we know, but also how we live each therapeutic relationship, since no two patients or carers are ever the same.
2017 When medical care prejudices quality of life
69th international meeting, MONTMIRAIL, Switzerland. In general people find it easy to put their trust in medicine since in most cases, medical treatment improves health and quality of life. Things become much harder when that improvement fails to occur or is only arrived at with additional suffering. Are we aware, we doctors and carers, what we are asking of our patients when we try yet again to get a venflon or a needle into a difficult vein or when we prescribe a strict diet or start someone on chronic renal dialysis? Some treatments for cancer are known to cause unpleasant side-effects which are difficult to endure. We can forewarn patients and prepare them to some degree. When an operation goes badly and ends up making things worse, confidence in the surgeon and his treatment is shattered. Can I still continue to treat that patient, as his surgeon? How can I manage my failure with regard to the patient and my relationship with him? Other problems rear their heads at end of life. What are the treatments that we should, or wish to, or can administer to the patient in our care? What role is played by the family, as well as others around the patient on both the human and the spiritual front, in the patient’s decision and capacity to endure difficult treatment? As treatment become more technological, we as carers need carefully to assess what the patient can endure and to choose the right path for the individual in our care.
2016 Decisions on treatment: who makes them ?
68th interntional meeting PILGRIM HALL Uckfield (East Sussex) Great Britain. Our theme this year is a question which implies a cascade of further questions some of which are fundamental to personhood and person-centred care. As users of health services, are we in any real sense autonomous? Who holds the power to decide what should be done to investigate and treat our patient’s presenting symptoms and signs? To what extent, and with what resources, should those investigations and treatments be carried out? Who controls those resources and choices, what are the limits and how are they to be agreed? We should consider, too, people who have little personal autonomy but have it by proxy through those who should love and nurture them.