David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 17 (3) (1996)
The thesis of this article is that engagement and suffering are essential aspects of responsible caregiving. The sense of medical responsibility engendered by engaged caregiving is referred to herein as clinical phronesis, i.e. practical wisdom in health care, or, simply, practical health care wisdom. The idea of clinical phronesis calls to mind a relational or communicative sense of medical responsibility which can best be understood as a kind of virtue ethics, yet one that is informed by the exigencies of moral discourse and dialogue, as well as by the technical rigors of formal reasoning. The ideal of clinical phronesis is not (necessarily) contrary to the more common understandings of medical responsibility as either beneficence or patient autonomy — except, of course, when these notions are taken in their disengaged form (reflecting the malaise of modern medicine). Clinical phronesis, which gives rise to a deeper, broader, and richer, yet also to a more complex, sense than these other notions connote, holds the promise both of expanding, correcting, and perhaps completing what it currently means to be a fully responsible health care provider. In engaged caregiving, providers appropriately suffer with the patient, that is, they suffer the exigencies of the patient's affliction (though not his or her actual loss) by consenting to its inescapability. In disengaged caregiving — that ruse Katz has described as the silent world of doctor and patient — provides may deny or refuse any given connection with the patient, especially the inevitability of the patient's affliction and suffering (and, by parody of reasoning, the inevitability of their own. When, however, responsibility is construed qualitatively as an evaluative feature of medical rationality, rather than quantitatively as a form of calculative reasoning only, responsibility can be viewed more broadly as not only a matter of science and will, but of language and communication as well — in particular, as the task of responsibly narrating and interpreting the patient's story of illness. In summary, the question is not whether phronesis can save the life of medical ethics — only responsible humans can do that! Instead, the question should be whether phronesis, as an ethical requirement of health care delivery, can prevent the death of medical ethics.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tadeusz Tołłoczko (2000). Ethical Implications in the Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in Poland. Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (1).
Gene H. Stollerman (1984). Promoting Patient Autonomy: Looking Back. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (1).
Robert M. Veatch (2009). Patient, Heal Thyself: How the New Medicine Puts the Patient in Charge. Oxford University Press.
Lisa H. Newton (1982). Collective Responsibility in Health Care. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (1):11-22.
D. S. Schultz & L. V. Flasher (2011). Charles Taylor, Phronesis, and Medicine: Ethics and Interpretation in Illness Narrative. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (4):394-409.
Virginia A. Sharpe (2000). Behind Closed Doors: Accountability and Responsibility in Patient Care. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (1):28 – 47.
Tadeusz Tollocako (2000). Ethical Implications in the Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in Poland. Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (1):63-70.
Maureen Kelley (2005). Limits on Patient Responsibility. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (2):189 – 206.
Michael H. Kottow (1999). Theoretical Aids in Teaching Medical Ethics. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 2 (3):225-229.
Candace Cummins Gauthier (2005). The Virtue of Moral Responsibility and the Obligations of Patients. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (2):153 – 166.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads9 ( #148,126 of 1,096,453 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #231,754 of 1,096,453 )
How can I increase my downloads?