This paper rejects dualism between mind and body toview the self as an embodied biological entity. Rather thanseeing the body operating by passive mechanisms as Descartesargues, it holds it actively moves in and even defines its world. Carrying this perspective to medicine presents an attempt toincorporate or work with internal processes of the body; it issensitive to how patients identify with their bodies. Thecurrent discussion over the extent to which women should try tohave natural childbirths provides a concrete example of thedifferences between mechanistic and embodied approaches tomedicine.
Keywords birth  body  embodiment  natural childbirth  self  technology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009995420899
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