The phenomenon of vulnerability in clinical encounters

Human Studies 29 (3):283 - 294 (2006)
Abstract
After a brief, personal reflection on Aron Gurwitsch’s life and his many influences on my career, I devote this lecture to some of the central themes of a phenomenology of medicine. Its core is the clinical encounter, which displays a certain structure I term the asymmetry of power (physician) and vulnerability (patient, family)—a complex contextual imbalance characterized by multiple points of view, hence points for reflective entrance. These are then interpreted phenomenologically in terms of epoché and reduction (practical distantiation), evidence, reflection, and other related themes. I conclude with a suggestion about “the fundamental method” of phenomenology, free fantasy variation.
Keywords Clinical encounter  Asymmetry  Power  Vulnerability  Method  Evidence
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