[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/DominicDeegan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/empathic_healer.jpg]]]]

A person who can [[HealingHands heal other people's wounds]] by taking them onto themselves. Oftentimes when they heal someone else, they get the exact same injuries or ailments. Sometimes, though, they just get really sick or feel great pain. The point is healing others causes them to feel pain or sickness themselves, making it a real sacrifice every time they heal.

Expect there to be one point when [[HeroicSacrifice they have to decide whether or not to heal someone with definitely fatal injuries]]. See also SacrificialRevivalSpell.

A subtrope of EquivalentExchange. Can sometimes be a WhiteMage, but doesn't have to be.

May be inverted for a more villainous equivalent -- [[LiquidAssets healing yourself by transferring your wounds to an enemy]].



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Some hurriedly-introduced AppliedPhlebotinum allows Zoro of ''Manga/OnePiece'' to take the pain from Luffy's injuries.
* Joshua of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' was at least heavily implied to be like this. He wasn't an [[IllGirl Ill Boy]] until he got his powers, and he can't use his powers to heal himself. One of the extras on the [=DVDs=] state that this system is made to embody the virtue his power represents (Hope)--the more he uses his powers, the sicker he becomes, so the more he has to have hope for the future.
* In ''Manga/ViolinistOfHameln'', Queen Horn has such healing powers, which her daughter Flute has inherited.
* Surprisingly enough for a kid's show, ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' has this. For this reason, healing magic is actually ''illegal'': if a Witch tries to use it on a human or an animal, she's very liable to die. [[spoiler: When Hazuki willingly broke the taboo to help a dying bunny and the ''very'' traumatized girl who was taking care of it, she ''only'' got sick... and that was specifically said to have happened just because [[BigGood the Queen]] was around.]]
* Angel Gozen gives this ability to Ouka Hayasaka in ''Manga/BusouRenkin''. Shoot a special arrow at someone, you get their wounds.
* ''Manga/XxxHolic''
** While Himawari from doesn't innately possess this power, she did take some scars from Watanuki [[spoiler: as the price of a wish to save his life after her bad luck and his subconscious desire to end his existence left him severely injured.]]
** Similarly, Doumeki lost the same amount of blood as Watanuki did from the same incident.
* Scheris Adjani's alter power in ''Anime/{{Scryed}}'' has this as a primary ability, though it's only invoked once, when [[spoiler: sacrificing herself in order to bring Ryuhou back to life]].
* Rory Mercury does this for Youji in ''{{Literature/Gate}}'' prior to their second fight with a deadly Fire Dragon. During the battle, he gets beaten pretty badly, but it doesn't seem to slow him down much. After they finish off the dragon however, Rory's suffered ClothingDamage, and looks like she took quite a beating, due to the damage Youji suffered transferring to her.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Raven}} in ''ComicBook/TeenTitans''.
* Inverted by Holden Carver aka The Conductor in ''{{Comicbook/Sleeper}}'' - an alien artifact prevents him from feeling ''anything'', especially pain. Any time he's injured, he can transfer the pain he would feel to others by touching them.
* Ragman from Franchise/TheDCU. He's a walking purgatory, taking the souls of killers. They get redemption by sharing his wounds. Distributed widely enough, they remain relatively unaffected. Some souls get 'permanent' injuries. Taking on enough injuries (or giving strength to Ragman) raises the Karma level, sooner or later, a Good Afterlife results.
* This is (sometimes) how Multiple Man, from Creator/MarvelComics, heals. A knife wound on one man is drastic but on forty is nothing. Other times, as with a hangover, it just hurts that much more. Similarly, he can safely reabsorb a critically injured dupe, but hates doing it because, well, it ''hurts.''
* Nightingale in ''Marvel: The Lost Generation'' has powers that work like this, and it appears that every healing takes a little more out of her. She finally dies when she has expended everything she can give.
* The Comicbook/SilverSurfer can heal, but only be expending his own LifeForce to do it. A minor injury isn't that big a deal, but bringing someone back from death's door leaves him incapacitated for a while afterward.

[[folder:Fan Fics]]
* [[spoiler:Ginny]] in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' FanFic ''Fanfic/AfterTheEnd''.
* Melanie Bostella's Innocence in ''Manga/DGrayMan: [[Fanfic/ChaosAtTheOrder Chaos at The Order]]''.
* In ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'', there exists [[FunctionalMagic a certain prayer]] done directly to [[CosmicEntities the Fates]] themselves. It allows the prayer to transfer the pain of someone else into themselves, but only the pain is transferred, not the cause of it. The prayer is used by [[PurityPersonified Avalina]] onto [[Disney/TheBlackCauldron the Horned King]] after he [[VillainousRescue saves]] her from drowning and the [[WeaksauceWeakness water]] left inside his system leaves him in a very painful state. While she ends up in a painful state for hours, the water remains inside the Horned King, who is [[AngerBornOfWorry both angry and worried for her]] doing that after nearly drowning. The prayer reads like this:
--> [[MagicalIncantation "Oh Fates, please now hear my plea. Please grant me what I ask of thee. This pain that fills my friend so kind, I beg you, free him, and make it mine."]]
* ''Franchise/{{Tron}}: Endgame Scenario'': The primary manifestation of [[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Jethro Bradley's]] User powers. He can absorb corruption from Programs, transmute it to harmless code, and sometimes weaponize it (the Ball weapons seen in the game), but it's a matter of "can my abilities to nullify the poison work faster than the poison's ability to damage me?"

* John Coffey in ''Film/TheGreenMile'' has a variation; when he heals people, he takes their sickness and wounds inside himself, then expels them in a cloud of noxious black. It is not a pleasant experience, and if he doesn't expel it quickly, it takes a toll, but so long as he does expel it, there's no lasting damage.
* Part of the explanation of Kayako's origins in ''Film/TheGrudge2''.
* Paul in, uh, ''Film/{{Paul}}'' does this. He can also heal himself while he's at it, but it's exponentially more difficult with human healing.

* A hospital tests a revolutionary device that allows a mother giving birth to transfer the pain to the father. An expectant couple try it, and while the mother reports that she's not feeling any pain at all, the father says he can't feel anything either. Despite the doctors being stumped, the birth goes painlessly for both parents, and they return home... to find the milkman dead on their doorstep, an expression of absolute agony on his face.

* This is how healing works in ''Literature/YoungWizards''. However, only involves sharing the injured party's experiences, and not the actual injuries, though some serious healings require a bit of the wizard's blood (see ''DeepWizardry'').
* Kane in Dennis L. [=McKiernan's=] ''Caverns of Socrates'' heals people in this manner, taking others' injuries onto himself.
* This is how wizardly healing works in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series. The wizard doing the healing doesn't receive the same wounds, but has to take some of the pain that is associated with getting the wound in the first place in order to do it. For example, restoring someone's severed foot makes the wizard take on the pain of it getting bitten off.
* An odd example in ''Literature/TheClericQuintet'' - Cadderly uses this on his ally after borrowing another ally's [[HealingFactor Ring of Regeneration]], because it can only heal wounds suffered after the ring is put on. If he hadn't, the wounds would have killed him, making the spell of rather dubious use under any other circumstances.
* In ''Literature/TheShapeShifter'', Mia originally starts out as one of these, but as time passes she becomes able to heal injuruies without hurting herself.
* People with yellow Spirit Stones in the ''Literature/BrokenSky'' series have this ability. To compensate for taking the wounds of others, they also have [[HealingFactor enhanced healing]]. [[spoiler: Kia's]] amnesia from witnessing the Netherfane was healed this way.
* The heroine of Lois Bujold's ''Literature/PaladinOfSouls'' gets involved with a pair of noble brothers who share [[spoiler:a mortal wound and a demonic link: the elder brother, who is walking around, is actually dead, while the younger, comatose brother's life force is almost entirely diverted to keeping the elder 'alive'. The climax involves the eldest leading a desperate sortie from their sorcery-beseiged castle while his brother and his demon-haunted wife absorb, as long as possible, the accumulating battle wounds.]]
* This is the power of Thom's in Perry Moore's ''Literature/{{Hero}}''. However there is a twist to it. [[spoiler:The emotional and physical pain Thom absorbs does affect him, but if he can handle it, it makes him stronger, to the point of being able to lift buildings, as shown in the end.]]
* The special power of Trenod in ''Literature/TheHourBeforeMorning'', who has to live not only with the pain of healing, but with a government which forces him to push himself too far for what it considers the general good.
* The title character from ''Literature/TheManWhoCarriedTrouble'' has the ability to absorb other peoples worries. Despite not being his, however, they still seem to somehow weigh on him.
* Brewster, of ''Literature/{{Bruiser}}'' takes on the physical and emotional injuries of anyone around him that he cares for whether he wants to or not.
* Tiffany Aching, in the young adult ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' books, learns a technique of withdrawing a patient's pain to ease their suffering. She doesn't have to take it into herself, though- she can siphon it into an inanimate object, whereupon it is transmuted into heat.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The first episode of a very mediocre TV show called ''Miracle'' deals with a young boy who has that ability [[spoiler: he saves the protagonist from a deadly car crash, killing himself in the process]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "The Empath". The title character can do this, and her decision of whether to risk her life to save Dr. [=McCoy=] is a major plot point.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}''. In season 6, [[spoiler:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloe_Sullivan Chloe Sullivan]]]] acquires this power (among others). [[spoiler:Overusing this ability actually killed her twice, but luckily she could resurrect herself]].
* Zhaan in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' could absorb others' pain, if not their actual injuries. Stark develops a more limited version of this later.
* Dr. Rosen in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "The Quality of Mercy", using alien technology.
* An episode of the short-lived horror anthology ''Series/NightVisions'', "Now He's Coming Up the Stairs," starred Luke Perry as a psychotherapist with the ability to absorb his patients' mental disorders.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'', "The Gift": Agent Doggett, looking for Mulder, investigates a town with a monster that turns out to be a healer that ''eats'' the illness out of people, absorbing it. Thing is, he's done it so many times and absorbed so many illnesses that he no longer looks human. [[spoiler: Like in the example mentioned above, Doggett is killed, and the healer ends his life by eating Doggett's death.]]
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', this seems to have been Hiro Nakamura's mother's ability.
* Raw, the CowardlyLion analogue in ''Series/TinMan.'' Within five minutes of screen time, he healed a nasty wound on Cain's leg, and affirmed that what DG and Glitch thought was just a JerkAss was really a KnightInSourArmor.
* In ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'', a one shot character had the ability to heal genetic defects and birth complications in vitro. Eventually it was revealed that he was taking these genetic defects into himself. Since he was already full grown, it didn't have any immediate result, but over time, combined with the sheer numbers he had healed, he became terminal.
* James Heath of ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' used the inversion - he staved off his cancer by transferring it to others. Later in the series, he was able to take the sickness of others into himself.
* ''Series/{{Warehouse13}}'' featured Mary Mallon's Butcher's Knife in one episode, which can transfer injury and illness both ways. It was eventually used by a man who stole it to give himself his dying son's cancer, saving his son but dooming himself.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** has spells that cost the caster experience points or cause them to age rapidly for a limited time, depending on the edition. Sometimes the sacrifice can be transferred to or shared with others... voluntarily or not.
** AD&D 2nd edition psionic power Lend Health.
** The 3.5 psionic power Empathic Transfer does this. The psionic power Hostile Empathic Transfer is the [[InvertedTrope opposite]]. In particular, Hostile Empathic Transfer is both the most efficient damaging power and most efficient healing power in the basic psionics book, but [[AwesomeButImpractical is touch-range, allows a Will save for half damage, and the damage is capped by the damage you've taken]].
** The 3.5 exalted feat "Stigmata" allows you to heal people by taking persistent, bleeding wounds yourself. The overall tradeoff is incredibly efficient (especially with help from other abilities), but the ability damage can't be healed for an hour, leaving the user weakened for quite some time.
** The 4th ed. epic-tier Paladin daily "Gift of Life" allows you to heal others for up to half of your maximum HitPoints, which you take as damage. If someone died since the end of your last turn, you can even bring that person BackFromTheDead at 0 HP, taking half of your maximum HP as the cost of it. It is not a good idea to do this when you're bloodied unless you're into the whole HeroicSacrifice thing.
** ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' arcane spells "Healing Touch" (a reversed variant of [[LiquidAssets Vampiric Touch]], hurts TheUndead [[ReviveKillsZombie as usual]]) and "Simbul's Synostodweomer" (converts [[VancianMagic memorized]] spells into healing effects).
** The 2nd Edition supplement [=HR5=] ''The Glory of Rome'' has the Caladrius bird. It can look at an ill person and draw the disease out of their body and into its feathers, which then turn grey. When it flies high up into the sunlight the sun's rays purify it.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantsAndMasterminds'' lets one create this sort of character as a modifier to the Healing power.
* The Blessed in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' feel the pain of whoever they use the Lay On Hands Miracle to heal, and risk suffering identical wounds if the casting roll fails badly.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' Adepts plays this so straight that the actual name for the power is "Empathic Healing". A key thing to note, however, is that it's not only not guaranteed, it's ''very difficult'' to absorb the entire set of injuries, so there's not much risk in using the power on a gravely-injured man.
* This is how the Healer character class works in ''TabletopGame/RoleMaster'' -- the spells learned are a free-form [[EmpathicHealer Empathic Healing]] list and lots of spells for healing yourself. Notable in that while HeroicSacrifice is possible, there's actually a spell that allows you to [[BackFromTheDead raise the dead]] by ''giving up your own soul'' during the transfer process and then (while soulless) casting the spell to reclaim it.
* Share Vitality does this in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Magic''.
* Classic ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', ''Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society'' #5 article "Special Psionic Powers". The new Empathic Healing psionic power allows the user to transfer someone else's wounds to themselves. If the psionic has the Awareness power, they can use the Regeneration subpower to heal the transferred injuries.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', Hazduhr the Abbot can redirect damage from allied white creatures to himself, while Kor creatures (also in white) have an inverted version - they can shunt damage they take to other allied creatures.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Ramza's "Wish" ability from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''.
* Micaiah's "Sacrifice" ability in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]''.
* Like almost all of the spells in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'', healing magic is CastFromHitPoints. Thankfully the target usually recovers more HP from the spell than the caster spent, so keeping two healers close to each other effectively lets you heal for free. Also, some healers have access to the [[LifeDrain Nosferatu]] spell which takes the cost of their other spells out of the enemy.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemHeroes'' has two non-staff healing options what require this. First is Ardent Sacrifice, what heals 10HP from target and takes away that much from the user, and the second one is Reciprocal Aid, which has the user swap their health with the target's.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'': the powers Absorb Pain (in, appropriately, the Empathy powerset) and Share Pain (in the villainous Pain Domination powerset) do this. The healer is prevented from being healed themselves for a time (fifteen seconds, which in [=CoH=] is a long time).
** Notably, Absorb Pain is considered an entirely dispensable power, especially considering that heals are inferior to [[StatusBuff buffs]] by ''far''.
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', the move Pain Split works by adding up the HP of the two Pokemon and redistributing it to them equally. If you're lower than your opponent on health, you recover. If your opponent has less, you end up healing them at the cost of your HP.
** In the [[TabletopGame/{{Pokemon}} card game]], the Base Set version of Alakazam allows you to move damage counters around between your active and reserve Pokemon, although it specifically keeps the player from knocking out their own monsters in this way.
* Alicia of ''VideoGame/BulletWitch'', can heal injured civilians this way. Her impressive regenerative powers will quickly nullify any damage she acquires this way, however.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'', Akiha Tohno [[spoiler:gave half of her life force to Shiki after he was killed eight years ago, dooming herself to a "half life" (not to mention the complications with [[InTheBlood her blood]]). Shiki isn't much better off, either, but at least, he's alive and that's good enough for her]].
* In ''VideoGame/DragonRealms'', the healing class is called the [[ExactlyWhatItIsSaysOnTheTin Empath]]. An [=Empath=] could take damage from a particular limb, scaring, and even nervous system damage.
* In ''VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden'', Wilford Brimley has the ability to cure diabetes (which in the game is the equivalent of [[StandardStatusAilments Poison]]) by taking it in as his own and worsening his own diabetus.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', Krieg has an ability that lets him revive other characters automatically in exchange for putting himself in a downed state. However, with the "Light the Fuses" skill, he can instead be CursedWithAwesome.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' has the H-Pathy and [[{{Pun}} M-Pathy]] skills, which transfers part of the user's HP/MP to the target, though H-Pathy isn't really worth a healing spell.
* Orion from ''VideoGame/AtlasReactor''. His signature move, Fate Transfer, transfers 75% of the damage an ally takes this round to himself and gives him energy (used to power his [[LimitBreak Ultimate]]) for every point of damage so taken.

* In ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'', Faen (and, it's implied, a good part of her family) have this power. It's not clear if she can die by healing, though.
* Adrak in ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'' can do this using the Nakta, which is usually a destructive force, as seen [[http://www.dominic-deegan.com/view.php?date=2009-05-27 here]].
* In ''Webcomic/LinT'', Bactine's healing abilities work this way; she takes the subject's wounds into her body and then heals herself. Eventually she [[spoiler: sacrifices her own life by healing a terminally ill character and the dying protagonist in succession.]]
* ''Webcomic/PatchworkHeroes'' has one of the characters able to heal others. In an interesting subversion of the whole "save a dying person by sacrificing yourself" business, she was able to save her lover from mortal wounds by only absorbing ''some'' of them, just enough that they both survived with grievous injuries.
* Nine from ''Webcomic/MachineFlower''. His entire trick is combining this with a HealingFactor.
* Catharine of "Webcomic/SisterClaire" displays this ability in [[http://www.sisterclaire.com/missingmoments/566 this Missing Moments page.]]
* When the Adventurer in ''Webcomic/PennyBlackfeather'' tries to heal Penny's cut, he accidentally transfers it to himself, because he's [[HowDoIShootWeb untrained in magic]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP-590]]. [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-590 He feels your pain.]]
* Kerry, in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse. Not only does she take on the injury or illness of whoever she heals, but she gets major echoes of the last people she healed too. So she might heal your blindness and be blind for hours, but also get the agony of the cancer patient she cured last, and the cripple she healed before that, and... Even worse, she got captured by some people who forced her to cure person after person after person...
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Scapegoat has something which is ''almost'' this -- the effect is conditional on neither him nor his target being subjected to any severe impacts or injuries in the hour or six following the procedure. He also has the ability to [[LiquidAssets transfer the injuries onto someone else]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Like her comic book counterpart, Raven in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans''. Worth noting since the two versions don't share that many traits.