Humility in health care

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (3):291-307 (1992)
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Humility, properly understood as a sense of one's limits, is one of the goods internal to the practice of health care. Humility in Christian tradition has both a relational aspect and an epistemological aspect. Each of these is evident in the practice of medicine. In its relational aspect, humility includes reverance or awe for the grace and strength of patients and their care-givers, a sense that the care-provider is not self-sufficient but needs the care-receiver, and recognition of the worth of those who are oppressed and outcast. In its epistemological aspect, humility is exhibited in respect for the meaning system of the patient and recognition of the limits of medical paradigms and their need for correction from the patient's perspective. The power wielded by the profession of medicine in contemporary society does not preclude the exercise of humility within the profession. Keywords: epistemology, humility, internal goods, practice of medicine, virtue CiteULike Connotea What's this?



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