Richard Zaner's Phenomenology of the Clinical Encounter
Wiggins, Osborne P.
Schwartz, Michael A.
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2005; 26(1): 73-87
The "clinical ethics" propounded by Richard Zaner is unique. Partly because of his phenomenological orientation and partly because of his own daily practice as a clinical ethicist in a large university hospital, Zaner focuses on the particular concrete situations in which patients and their families confront illness and injury and struggle toward workable ways for dealing with them. He locates ethical reality in the "clinical encounter." This encounter encompasses not only patient and physician but also the patient's family and friends and indeed the entire "lifeworld" in which the patient is still striving to live. In order to illuminate the central moral constituents of such human predicaments, Zaner discusses the often-overlooked features of disruption and crisis, the changed self, the patient's dependence and the physician's power, the violation of personal boundaries and their necessary reconfiguring, and the art of listening.
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