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Tragedy and Grenzsituationen in genetic prediction


Rommetveit, K; Porz, R (2009). Tragedy and Grenzsituationen in genetic prediction. Medicine Health Care and Philosophy, 12(1):9-16.

Abstract

Philosophical anthropologies that emphasise the role of the emotions can be used to expand existing notions of moral agency and learning in situations of great moral complexity. In this article we tell the story of one patient facing the tough decision of whether to be tested for Huntington's disease or not. We then interpret her story from two different but compatible philosophical entry points: Aristotle's conception of Greek tragedy and Karl Jaspers' notion of Grenzsituationen (boundary situations). We continue by indicating some ways in which these two positions may be used for reflecting upon different perspectives involved in clinical decision-making, those of patients, clinicians and bioethicists. We conclude that the ideas we introduce can be used as hermeneutic tools for situating learning and dialogue within a broader cultural field in which literature and art may also play important roles.

Philosophical anthropologies that emphasise the role of the emotions can be used to expand existing notions of moral agency and learning in situations of great moral complexity. In this article we tell the story of one patient facing the tough decision of whether to be tested for Huntington's disease or not. We then interpret her story from two different but compatible philosophical entry points: Aristotle's conception of Greek tragedy and Karl Jaspers' notion of Grenzsituationen (boundary situations). We continue by indicating some ways in which these two positions may be used for reflecting upon different perspectives involved in clinical decision-making, those of patients, clinicians and bioethicists. We conclude that the ideas we introduce can be used as hermeneutic tools for situating learning and dialogue within a broader cultural field in which literature and art may also play important roles.

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2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 February 2009
Deposited On:05 Nov 2008 15:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:28
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1386-7423
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s11019-008-9139-x
PubMed ID:18592401
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3931

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