By S. Kay Toombs
A PHENOMENOLOGICAL procedure My curiosity in exploring the character of the patient's and the physician's figuring out of affliction has grown out of my very own event as a a number of sclerosis sufferer. In discussing my affliction with physicians, it has frequently looked as if it would me that we've got been one way or the other conversing at pass reasons, discussing various things, by no means fairly attaining each other. This lack of ability to speak doesn't, for the main half, consequence from inatten tiveness or insensitivity yet from a primary confrontation in regards to the nature of disease. instead of representing a shared truth among us, affliction represents relatively distinctive realities - the that means of 1 being considerably and distinctively diversified from the that means of the opposite. during this paintings I shall recommend that mental phenomenology presents the skill to check the character of this basic war of words among general practitioner and sufferer in a rigorous fashion.! particularly, mental phenomenology discloses the style during which the of his or her event. person constitutes the that means In supplying a phenomenological description,2 the phenomenologist is dedicated to the hassle first of all what's given in instant ex perience, to tum to the fundamental beneficial properties of what offers itself because it provides itself to awareness, and thereby to elucidate the constitutive job of recognition and the sense-structure of experiencing.
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Extra resources for The Meaning of Illness: A Phenomenological Account of the Different Perspectives of Physician and Patient
37 The person who is ill is like Schutz's beholder of the musical piece. Just as the beholder of the musical piece has little awareness of clock time while listening to the music, and hence he or she may be surprised later to learn that one movement takes exactly as much clock time as another, so the person who is ill has little awareness of clock time in actually living through the discomfort. The physician, on the other hand, uses the objective time scale to measure the physical events and biological processes which define the patient's illness as a disease state (and to plan therapeutic interventions).
The clinical data represent "news" to the patient and "knowledge" to the physician. Each, therefore, reacts to the information in a distinctly different manner. In this regard Cassell (1979, p. " The meaning of illness to a particular patient will depend upon "the collectivity of his meanings" - a collectivity that is necessarily a function of his or her unique biographical situation. Thus, an experience of pain might be interpreted by one patient as a possible heart attack and by another as merely indigestion.
As a skeleton, brain, nerve endings, and so forth). It is only if I conceive of my body as an object (in Sartre's terms, as a "being-for-others") that I apprehend it as a malfunctioning physiological organism. "Disease" represents such objectification. " Furthermore, this conception of "disease" incorporates the knowledge of a certain objective nature possessed by the stomach: I know that it has the shape of a bagpipe, that it is a sack, that it produces juices and enzymes, that it is enclosed by a muscular tunica with smooth fibres, etc.