A Balanced Scale
Exploring the intertwinement of the patient’s experiential expertise and the practitioner's epistemic expertise in medical practice
The field of medicine is growing more epistemically and technologically sophisticated, while the unquantifiable, non-physical, phenomenological aspects of illness seem to be eroding. Havi Carel’s notion of epistemic injustice in Phenomenology of Illness points to this unwarranted privileged position of practitioner's epistemic expertise within the patient-practitioner relationship, and the subsequent phenomenological void in medical practice. Carel offers ‘the phenomenological toolkit’ as a possible solution. This thesis scrutinizes and concretizes Carel’s conceptions, explaining that the asymmetrical patient-practitioner relationship will continue to exist even when the practitioner’s epistemic privilege is warranted. Additionally, it delineates the counterpart of the practitioner's epistemic expertise, namely the patient’s experiential expertise, and discusses that highlighting this latter expertise in medical education and practice may balance out the patient-practitioner relationship, thus filling the phenomenological void in our medical system.
C.S. Tbalvandany. (2019, July 30). A Balanced Scale. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/50128