Care, cure and interpersonal understanding

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Abstract

Care, cure and interpersonal understanding

This article distinguishes two approaches within care theory, relating them to different views on the physician–patient relationship within philosophy of medicine. The first regards care as a skillful comportment by the care-giver, based upon intuitive insight into the needs of the care-receiver. The second regards care as a mutual endeavour, based upon openness and dialogue. The first approach resembles the interpretative model of the doctor–patient relationship; the second is parallel to the deliberative model. The two approaches within care theory and the two positions within philosophy of medicine are both expressions of a fundamental distinction between two different views of interpersonal understanding. This distinction is elaborated upon by discussing Gadamer's analysis of interpersonal understanding.

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