Dualism and its Importance for Medicine
Author: Switankowsky, I.
Source: Theoretical Medicine, Volume 21, Number 6, December 2000 , pp. 567-580(14)
Abstract:Cartesian dualism has been viewed by medical theorists to be one of the chief causes of a reductionist/mechanistic treatment of the patient. Although I aver that Cartesian dualism is one culprit for the misapprehension of the genuine treatment of patients in terms of both mind and body, I argue that interactive dualism which stresses the interaction of mind and body is essential to treat patients with dignity and compassion. Thus, adequate medical care that is humanistic in nature is difficult (if not impossible) to achieve without physicians adhering to a dualistic framework in which the body and person is treated during illness.
Keywords: Cartesian dualism; clinical narratives; effective diagnosis; effective treatment; interactive dualism; lived experience of illness; objective perspective; reductionism; subjective perspective
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3Gl, Canada
Publication date: December 2000