Community As Healing: Pragmatist Ethics in Medical Encounters

Community As Healing: Pragmatist Ethics in Medical Encounters

by Micah D. Hester

Paperback(New Edition)



The brief history of 20th century bioethics has been dominated by discussions of principles and appeals to autonomy that both divorce theory from practice and champion a notion of the individual as prior to and isolated from society. Pragmatism, on the other hand, has long sought to reconstruct ethical thought with the belief that distinctions between theory and practice, individual and society are not a priori starting points but purposeful developments of inquiry. Using insights from classic pragmatism, the author proposes reconstructive accounts of physician-patient relationships resulting in an emphasis on aiding the process of meaningful/significant living for all individuals involved in medical encounters. William James, John Dewey, and George Herbert Mead, among others, provide discussions of human relationships which accentuate the situatedness of problems and solutions and stress the need for building shared experience in order to develop both self and community. With an insistence on a recognition of a functional concept of the self (or "self as social product"), the author's pragmatic position illuminates the integration of self with the community and leads to a new practice in the medical encounter, based on an attitude of community as healing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780742512191
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/26/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.34(d)

About the Author

D. Micah Hester is assistant professor of biomedical ethics at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Medicine, Ethics, and Classic American Philosophy Chapter 3 Principles and Pragmatism: Negative Considerations for Positive Beginnings Chapter 4 Autonomy as Consent: An All-Too-Passive Concept Chapter 5 Self as Situated Social Product: The Functionality of Narratives Chapter 6 Community as Healing Chapter 7 Epilogue

What People are Saying About This

Mark Kuczewski

Community as Healing is among the finest books on the methods of bioethics in recent years. Hester weaves together the best elements of narrative ethics and pragmatism to form an exciting synthesis. This is a must-read for all serious students of bioethical theory.

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