Illness as atonement 

Mother dies in childbirth; child has difficulty in fully claiming life.  Parent becomes despondent after death, illness, handicap of a child; have parent look at the deceased child with love, face the grief, and allow the past to be past.

When someone, without a pressing need, aborts or gives a child away, or ruthlessly inflicts wrong on someone else.  In this case, atonement takes place on an unconscious level and in direct opposition to the person's protestations of innocence or justifications of her actions.  Children may feel the urge to take on the burden of guilt and atone for the adult.

Atonement satisfies our blind need for compensation and balance.

Illness as a result of refusing to bow down to one's parents  Cancer patients would sometimes rather die than bow down before their father or mother.