Dualism and its importance for medicine

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (6):567-580 (2000)
Cartesian dualism has been viewed by medical theorists to be oneof the chief causes of a reductionist/mechanistic treatment ofthe patient. Although I aver that Cartesian dualism is one culprit for the misapprehension of the genuine treatment of patients in termsof both mind and body, I argue that interactive dualism whichstresses the interaction of mind and body is essential to treatpatients with dignity and compassion. Thus, adequate medical carethat is humanistic in nature is difficult (if not impossible)to achieve without physicians adhering to a dualistic frameworkin which the body and person is treated during illness.
Keywords clinical narratives  effective diagnosis  effective treatment  interactive dualism  lived experience of illness  objective perspective  reductionism  subjective perspective  Cartesian dualism
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