A new path for humanistic medicine

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Abstract
According to recent approaches in the philosophy of medicine, biomedicine should be replaced or complemented by a humanistic medical model. Two humanistic approaches, narrative medicine and the phenomenology of medicine, have grown particularly popular in recent decades. This paper first suggests that these humanistic criticisms of biomedicine are insufficient. A central problem is that both approaches seem to offer a straw man definition of biomedicine. It then argues that the subsequent definition of humanism found in these approaches is problematically reduced to a compassionate or psychological understanding. My main claims are that humanism cannot be sought in the patient–physician relationship alone and that a broad definition of medicine should help to revisit humanism. With this end in view, I defend what I call an outcomes-oriented approach to humanistic medicine, where humanism is set upon the capacity for a health system to produce good health outcomes.
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Archival date: 2019-01-29
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