David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (4):451 – 472 (2004)
It is common to talk of wise physicians, but not so common to talk of wise patients. "Patient" is a word derived from the Latin patior - "to suffer," but also "to let be." Suffering has been the universal lot of humanity, and medicine rightly tries to relieve suffering. Medical progress, like all technological progress, leads us more and more to hope that we can control our fate. However, we do well to ask whether our attempts to control our fate are wise. Wisdom played a major role in the philosophy of the ancient Stoics, and so I propose putting these questions into the context of a new stoicism. For the Stoic, happiness consists in living in accord with nature. Stoics are sometimes portrayed as apathetic fatalists, silently accepting whatever misfortune might come their way, but this is a misunderstanding. The Stoic sage, like the common person, wants to preserve life and health. The difference is that the sage's wisdom brings knowledge about what actions are appropriate in the face of suffering. The sage sees suffering not as something that demands immediate control, but as something that might reasonably direct actions. Suffering brings turmoil to the common patient, who will take any possible steps to end the suffering. The wise patient possesses the knowledge that enables a correct assessment of the options in the face of the reality that we ultimately do not control our own fate.
|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
Giovanni Caocci, Giorgio La Nasa, Ernesto D'Aloja, Adriana Vacca, Eugenia Piras, Michela Pintor, Roberto Demontis & Salvatore Pisu (2011). Ethical Issues of Unrelated Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Adult Thalassemia Patients. BMC Medical Ethics 12 (1):4.
Similar books and articles
Stan van Hooft (1998). Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 1 (2):125-131.
Carol Johnston (1999). Nietzsche and the Dilemma of Suffering. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 13 (2):187-192.
Tad Brennan (2005). The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate. Oxford University Press.
Dawson S. Schultz & Franco A. Carnevale (1996). Engagement and Suffering in Responsible Caregiving: On Overcoming Maleficience in Health Care. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 17 (3).
Eric J. Cassell (2004). The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine. Oxford University Press.
William O. Stephens, Stoic Ethics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Michael S. Jastremski (1984). Death and Dying: Reflections of an Intensivist. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 5 (2).
Mary C. Rawlinson (1986). The Sense of Suffering. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (1):39-62.
M. J. Siemińska, M. Szymańska & K. Mausch (2002). Development of Sensitivity to the Needs and Suffering of a Sick Person in Students of Medicine and Dentistry. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 5 (3):263-271.
Andree Hahmann (2011). The happy death of the Stoic. Wisdom and finitude in Stoic philosophy. Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 13 (1):87-106.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads15 ( #108,453 of 1,101,772 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #59,646 of 1,101,772 )
How can I increase my downloads?