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AfflictedHow Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice$
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Nicole M. Piemonte

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037396

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037396.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 24 October 2019

Turning toward Suffering Together

Turning toward Suffering Together

Chapter:
(p.63) 3 Turning toward Suffering Together
Source:
Afflicted
Author(s):

Nicole M. Piemonte

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262037396.003.0003

In chapter three, the philosophical work of Heidegger, Levinas, Charles Taylor, and Mikhail Bakhtin is drawn together to illustrate that in turning away from vulnerability, illness, and death in the name of objectivity and “clinical detachment,” physicians not only offer compromised care to their patients but also diminish their own practice and their own being. What is more, the argument is made that it is only through a response to the call of the face of suffering that one can offer authentic care. For it is through facing the reality of their own finitude and potentiality-for-suffering that physicians’ subjectivity is deepened and that they begin to recognize and respond to the call for care issued forth by the patient. In authentically responding to this call from the other, the doctor comes to see that she needs the patient, not only to determine how to help him, but she also needs the patient in a more fundamental way: she needs the patient in order to heal, in order to be a healer. As Heidegger would say, she needs the patient and his call outward toward her in order to become who she already is.

Keywords:   Patient care, Medical ethics, Patient-doctor relationship, Suffering, Death, Heidegger, Levinas, Charles Taylor, Mikhail Bakhtin

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