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Korean J Med Educ > Volume 21(4); 2009 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical Education 2009;21(4): 335-346. doi: https://doi.org/10.3946/kjme.2009.21.4.335
Viewing a Person Through the Body: The Relevance of Philosophical Anthropology to Medical Education
Wim Dekkers
Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare Section of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Corresponding Author: Wim Dekkers, Tel: +31-24-361-53-20, Fax: +31-24-354-02-54, Email: w.dekkers@iq.umcn.nl
Received: August 28, 2009;  Accepted: November 10, 2009.
Although the revival of medical humanities in the past three decades has emerged primarily in the US and the UK, continental Europe has a strong tradition in espousing the medical humanities, such as by advancing the anthropological movement in medicine and philosophy. In this paper, we argue that philosophical anthropology deserves a separate focus in medical education from medical ethics and philosophy of science. The focus of the paper is on the philosophical aspects of the human body to view a person 'through the body.' First, a short description of the anthropological movement in medicine is discussed, including its central motive 'to introduce the subject into medicine.' Next, the ontological and moral relationship between the person and his or her body is addressed. Drawing examples from anatomy, a so-called hemicorporectomy, organ donation, and aesthetic surgery, the concept of bodily integrity is expounded. These ideas can encourage medical students to discuss their own moral experiences during medical training and should be taught to enhance their philosophical understanding of medicine and health care.
Keywords: Philosophy;Bioethics;Personhood;Human Body;Education
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