Emerging medical technologies are changing our views on human nature and what it means to be alive, healthy, and leading a good life. Reproductive technologies, genetic diagnosis, organ transplantation, and psychopharmacological drugs all raise existential questions that need to be tackled by way of philosophical analysis. Yet questions regarding the meaning of life have been strangely absent from medical ethics so far. This book brings phenomenology, the main player in the continental tradition of philosophy, to bioethics, and it does so in a comprehensive and clear manner. Starting out by analysing illness as an embodied, contextualized, and narrated experience, the book addresses the role of empathy, dialogue, and interpretation in the encounter between health-care professional and patient. Medical science and emerging technologies are then brought to scrutiny as endeavours that bring enormous possibilities in relieving human suffering but also great risks in transforming our fundamental life views. How are we to understand and deal with attempts to change the predicaments of coming to life and the possibilities of becoming better than well or even, eventually, surviving death? This is the first book to bring the phenomenological tradition, including philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Edith Stein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Hans Jonas, and Charles Taylor, to answer such burning questions.
This book offers a unique description of how phenomenology can help professionals from medical, environmental and social fields to explore notions such as interaffectivity, empathy, epoche, reduction, and intersubjective encounter. Written by a group of top scholars, it uniquely covers the relationship between phenomenology and bioethics, and focuses not only on medical cases, but also on the environment and emerging technologies. This variety of themes, whilst including techno-ethics, environmental ethics, animal ethics, and medical ethics, is conducive to appreciating broadly how phenomenology can improve our quality of our life. Despite its difficult themes, the book appeals to an audience of both academics and professionals who are willing to understand how to increase the quality of care in their professional field. Chapter 8 is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via link.springer.com.
This book provides a unique phenomenological dialogue between psychology and philosophy on the origin of bioethics that shows the importance of bringing emotions into bioethical discourse. Divided into two parts, the book begins by defining bioethics and explaining the importance of emotions in making us human, allowing us to consider life holistically. Ferrarello argues that emotions and bioethics are better served when they are combined, and that dismissing emotions as nothing more than a nuisance to our rationality has created a society that does not fit our human nature. Chapters explore how ethics relate to intimate life and how ethical agents determine themselves within their surrounding world, uniquely and interrogatively using ‘bioethics’ to consider not only medical dilemmas but also issues concerning environmental and individual well-being. By addressing personal, interpersonal, and societal problems as dynamically interconnected in bioethical problems she helps us to renew our sense of responsibility toward a good quality of life. This interdisciplinary book is invaluable reading for students of health science, psychology, and philosophy, as well as for those interested in the link between emotions and bioethical discourse from both a psychological and philosophical perspective.
Several studies have argued that there is a correlation between short stature and negative experiences and characteristics, such as social discrimination, economic disadvantage, health problems (especially for men). The idea that short men have a disadvantage in social interactions and in partner choices is also widespread in popular culture and common knowledge. It is now possible to use recombinant human growth hormone (hGH) to treat children with idiopathic short stature (ISS), namely children who are shorter than average for unknown medical reasons. Critics argue that there is a lack of evidence of both psychological distress caused by short stature and the efficacy of the treatment in increasing children’s well-being. This controversy is reflected in international drug evaluations: while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US granted marketing authorisation for hGH for children with ISS in 2003, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) refused it in 2007. The research presented here had two aims: first, to identify and analyse the norms, values and assumptions about short stature and the use of hGH treatment for children with ISS, found within sociocultural, philosophical and regulatory discussions of these, and within narrated lived experiences of short stature. Second, to critically and reflectively discuss how these analyses contribute to bioethical debates on the use of hGH treatment for children with ISS. It employs what it calls a critical paediatric bioethics theoretical approach, which deems as important to carefully analyse different reasoning, conceptualisations and arguments around the object of study, through a self-reflective analysis that is also sceptical about other forms of problematisation, and that combines philosophical analyses while being open to social implications and drawing upon empirical methods. The first article proposes a critical understanding of medicalisation as both a concept and a phenomenon, and explores what insights such critical understanding brings to ethical discussions about hGH for ISS. It argues that three main ethical issues concern the medicalisation of short stature: the downplayed role of the qualitative dimension of short stature, the justification of the treatment (as sometimes based on uncritically assumed social beliefs and unrealistic parental expectations), and possible misconduct of stakeholders. The second article examines the arguments for and against granting marketing authorisation of hGH treatment for the indication of ISS presented in selected FDA and EMA documents. It combines argumentative analysis with an approach to policy analysis called ‘what’s the problem represented to be’ and focuses on underlying assumptions and presuppositions about short stature and hGH treatment for ISS. It then discusses these arguments through the relational, experiential and cultural understandings of disability, and argues that the choice about whether to give hGH is not merely a choice based on efficacy and safety, but requires an examination of the values that we transmit by that choice. The third article examines how and why attendance to lived experiences of height is needed in bioethical and biomedical discussions of hGH treatment for children with ISS. It first describes what it defines as the ‘problem-oriented’ approach to the debate about hGH treatment for children with ISS. It then offers a sociophenomenological analysis of whether and, if so, when and how, height matters to the interviewed people in the Netherlands who are shorter than average without any known medical reasons. The sociophenomenological analysis shows the richness of meanings of lived experiences of short stature that cannot be captured by the problem-oriented approach, and suggests complementing clinical practices with narrative approaches. This research contributes to the ethical debate about using hGH for children with ISS, setting a critical gaze onto the social perception of short stature, highlighting some ethical challenges met by stakeholders involved at different levels (such as families, medical professionals and policy makers), and providing new insights into how to address these ethical issues. It is, therefore, of interest to stakeholders, bioethicists and lay people willing to explore alternative ways to address such bioethical dilemmas, and other paediatric interventions that aim to normalise children’s bodily characteristics.
Some fundamental aspects of the lived body only become evident when it breaks down through illness, weakness or pain. From a phenomenological point of view, various breakdowns are worth analyzing for their own sake, and discussing them also opens up overlooked dimensions of our bodily constitution. This book brings together different approaches that shed light on the phenomenology of the lived body—its normality and abnormality, health and sickness, its activity as well as its passivity. The contributors integrate phenomenological insights with discussions about bodily brokenness in philosophy, theology, medical science and literary theory. Phenomenology of the Broken Body demonstrates how the broken body sheds fresh light on the nuances of embodied experience in ordinary life and ultimately questions phenomenology’s preunderstanding of the body.
The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Bioethics is an outstanding resource for anyone with an interest in feminist bioethics, with chapters covering topics from justice and power to the climate crisis. Comprising forty-two chapters by emerging and established scholars, the volume is divided into six parts: I Foundations of feminist bioethics II Identity and identifications III Science, technology and research IV Health and social care V Reproduction and making families VI Widening the scope of feminist bioethics The volume is essential reading for anyone with an interest in bioethics or feminist philosophy, and will prove an invaluable resource for scholars, teachers and advanced students Chapters 2, 22, and 30 of this book will soon be freely available as downloadable Open Access PDFs under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license at www.taylorfrancis.com
This is the first monograph to deal with medicine as a form of hermeneutics, now in a thoroughly revised and updated edition, including a whole new chapter on medical ethics. The book offers a comprehensive philosophical argument why good medical practice cannot be curtailed to scientific investigations of the body but is a form of clinical hermeneutics performed by health-care professionals in dialogue with their patients. Medical hermeneutics is rooted in a phenomenology of illness which acknowledges and proceeds from the ill party’s bodily feelings, everyday life-world circumstances and self-understanding in aiming to restore health. The author shows how the works of classical phenomenologists and hermeneuticians – Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur – may be employed to understand how medical diagnosis is enveloped by professional empathy and clinical judgement and developed by scientific investigations of the patient’s bodily condition. Health and illness are ultimately considered to be ways of feeling at home or not at home in the world, and such experiences are the starting point of medical hermeneutics when aiming to make best use of scientific knowledge. The book is aimed at researchers and teachers in philosophy of medicine and medical ethics, and at physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals meeting with patients in ethically complex and challenging situations. Phenomenology and hermeneutics, most often considered as methods belonging to the humanities, are shown to be of vital importance for the understanding of medical practice and ethical dilemmas of health care.
This book explores Kierkegaard’s significance for bioethics and discusses how Kierkegaard’s existential thinking can enrich and advance current bioethical debates. A bioethics inspired by Kierkegaard is not focussed primarily on ethical codes, principles, or cases, but on the existential “how" of our medical situation. Such a perspective focusses on the formative ethical experiences that an individual can have in relation to oneself and others when dealing with medical decisions, interventions, and information. The chapters in this volume explore questions like: What happens when medicine and bioethics meet Kierkegaard? How might Kierkegaard’s writings and thought contribute to contemporary issues in medicine? Do we need an existential turn in bioethics? They offer theoretical reflections on how Kierkegaard’s existential thinking might contribute to bioethics and apply Kierkegaardian concepts to debates on health and disease, predictive medicine and enhancement, mental illness and trauma, COVID-19 and gender identity. Kierkegaard and Bioethics will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on Kierkegaard, bioethics, moral philosophy, existential ethics, religious ethics, and the medical humanities.
This book explores the personal value of healthy behavior, arguing that our modern tendency to praise or blame individuals for their health is politically and economically motivated and has reinforced growing health disparities between the wealthy and poor under the guise of individual responsibility. We are awash in concerns about the state of our health and recommendations about how to improve it from medical professionals, public health experts, and the diet-exercise-wellness industry. The idea that health is about wellness and not just preventing illness becomes increasingly widespread as we find out how various modifiable behaviors, such as smoking or our diets, impact our health. In a critical examination of health, we find that alongside the move toward wellness as a state that the individual is responsible to in part produce, there is a roll-back of public programs. This book explores how this "good health imperative" is not as apolitical as one might assume. The more the individual is the locus of health, the less structural and historical issues that create health disparities are considered. Feminist Existentialism, Biopolitics, and Critical Phenomenology in a Time of Bad Health’s charts the impact of the increasing shift to a model of individual responsibility for one’s health. It will benefit readers who are interested to think critically about normalization to produce "healthy bodies." In addition, this book will benefit readers who understand the value of personal health, but are wary of the ways in which health can be used as a tool to discriminate and fuel inequalities in health care access. This volume is primarily of interest to academics, students, public health and medical professionals, and readers who are interested in critically examining health from philosophical perspective in order to understand how we can celebrate the value of healthy behavior without reinforcing discrimination.
The emotions occupy a fundamental place in philosophy, going back to Aristotle. However, the phenomenology of the emotions has until recently remained a relatively neglected topic. The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotion is an outstanding guide and reference source to this important and fascinating topic. Comprising forty-nine chapters by a team of international contributors, this handbook covers the following topics: historical perspectives, including Brentano, Husserl, Sartre, Levinas and Arendt; contemporary debates, including existential feelings, situated affectivity, embodiment, art, morality and feminism; self-directed and individual emotions, including happiness, grief, self-esteem and shame; social emotions, including sympathy, aggresive emotions, collective emotions and political emotions; borderline cases of emotion, including solidarity, trust, pain, forgiveness and revenge. Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy studying phenomenology, ethics, moral psychology and philosophy of psychology, The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotion is also suitable for those in related disciplines such as religion, sociology and anthropology.
The field of phenomenological psychopathology (PP) is concerned with exploring and describing the individual experience of those suffering from mental disorders. Whilst there is often an understandable emphasis within psychiatry on diagnosis and treatment, the subjective experience of the individual is frequently overlooked. Yet a patient's own account of how their illness affects their thoughts, values, consciousness, and sense of self, can provide important insights into their condition - insights that can complement the more empirical findings from studies of brain function or behaviour. The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology is the first ever comprehensive review of the field. It considers the history of PP, its methodology, key concepts, and includes a section exploring individual experiences within schizophrenia, depression, borderline personality disorder, OCD, and phobia. In addition it includes chapters on some of the leading figures throughout the history of this field. Bringing together chapters from a global team of leading academics, researchers and practitioners, the book will be valuable for those within the fields of psychiatry, clinical psychology, and philosophy.