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ISSN: 1522-4821
International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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Medicine: 30 Years After the Death of the Great Humanist

Prof. Dr. Carlos Jorge Rubinstein

Hospital Dr. Federico Abete – Malvinas Argentinas

Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)

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In June 1984 Paul dies Michel Foucault, one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He died of AIDS at 57 years of age; Paradoxically, HIV was discovered some years ago by Luc Montagnier, who was a disciple of Dr. Paul Foucault, Michel's father.

Having been the son, grandson and great-grandson of physicians, was not easy to tell his father that he would not continue the family tradition. But, despite this decision, throughout his life he maintained a strong relationship with medicine, dedicating some of his most significant works. In this regard, his vision could be summarized as: science and technology have brought many advances in medicine, but also engendered increasingly serious ethical challenges. Amongst them worsening health conditions and existence of a majority of those excluded progress and actual aggression to the supreme ethical values. Therefore, Foucault positions critically derivatives based on ethical values of human dignity. In addition to scientific training is required for the formation of a moral conscience and criticism. This knowledge is not knowledge driven or the advancement of medical science, but of course that can be given to teaching whose priority is not neglect-humanistic ethics of scientific medicine, always humanizing dimension.

After the violent criticizes psychiatry deployed in History of Madness, in The Birth of the Clinic accepts scientificity of medicine, noting that the clinic is the articulation of things “in a language in which we have recognizing positive science ". Along with this positivist praise of medicine, Foucault reveals his fascination with the subject of death. The link established between the death and medicine, beyond what anatomo - clinical relates to the issue of human finitude. Proof of this is the approach that operates between medical expertise and experience of finitude lyric in Holderlin and Rilke. Death can be averted: Medicine announces relentless man wearing limit in itself, yet it also speaks of "the technical world that is armed, positive and full form of his finitude”.

Foucault was concerned man holistically: just psychosomatic unity taken as a man can be considered subject. Hence his criticism of psychiatry and psychoanalysis can be attributed to this conception of man as the subject of its own shares, considering that for the philosopher, in these medical or paramedical practices, the patient is not subject but object of medical knowledge.

Medicine constitutes an ethical space of existence, considering that ethics is an absolute priority in the relationship established between doctor and patient. On the other hand, does not exhaust the ethical humanistic or it is reduced to ethics; humanistic has a higher amplitude. As ethical, social dimension of medicine also is humanistic; she has concerns as values and human needs. Social medicine is concerned with man as a living body, taken as a psychosomatic unity within a social body. If man is the living body, and a body, have a family, a house, a home, possessions are yours and are part of their environment and its realization. Ancient medicine was humanistic, because the Hippocratic and Greco-Roman physicians have prioritized these issues.

The policy approach of medical work is also an expression of a humanistic dimension of medicine, so the social medicine and public health, as an extension of medical practice in the city, is a political and humanistic work. Thus, as being naturally social, human fulfillment is met by a task that is political; its full realization in society is therefore the political and the social in medicine are expressions of his humanistic dimension.

Finally, we must conclude that Foucault has left a theory that allows us to reflect the humanistic dimension of medicine in its various forms. He did this when he analyzed social medicine as an invention of capitalism; so does when he teaches that the Greek and Roman medicine is an essentially ethical medicine; he always does, from his early writings, when he begins to develop his criticism of psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

The driver thread of his thought, the radical and critical development own show that has always interested her man as a moral subject of his actions, and man as the overall theme of their research.

References

  • Bleakley, A. Blight, J. (2009). Who Can Resist Foucault? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 34, 368-383.doi: 10.1093/jmp/jhp028
  • Foucault, M. (1973).The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Ed. Random House. London.
  • Foucault, M., Barrett Kriegel, B., Thalamy, A., Beguin, F. & Fortier, B. (1979). Les machines à guérir (aux origines de l’hôpitalmoderne). Bruxelles: Pierre Mardaga.
  • Lemke, T. (2001).The birth of bio-politics – Michel Foucault’s lecture at the Collège de France on neo-liberal governmentality.Economy&Society, 30, 190-207.
  • Mahon, M. (1992). Foucault´s Nietzschean genealogy.State University of New York Press, Albany.
  • Petersen, A. Bunton, R. (1997).Foucault, Health and Medicine. Ed. Routledge. London.
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