Excerpts from the article by James Giordano: Foni phronimos – An Interview with Edmund Pellegrino. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2010, 5:16
Concerning the importance of Medical Humanities.
“Medicine is the most scientific of the humanities and the most humane of sciences. It bridges the physical state of the human being with her psychological state, and I daresay with her spiritual state – however we define that to be. That is not just a person’s religion, but those transcendent aspects of what she is – and values – beyond the merely material domains of being.”
“Biotechnology cannot substitute for moral and ethical reflection. That is why I believe that Aristotle, Aquinas or Augustine will not – and should not – fade from our view.”
What should we study?
“It is important that the physician be well trained in liberal arts. (…) those arts that free our minds from the tyranny of other minds. To do this requires critical thinking. A differential diagnosis in medicine in an exercise of dialectics.”
“The idea of prudence is classical; as is the idea of dialectics. These ideas have origins in Aristotle’s posterior analytics. So, the point is not that science is unimportant to the physician. Equal time should be dedicated to the emphasis on how to think about, evaluate and make prudent decisions because most clinical choices are made without the certainty of having all the facts, without knowing what the future is going to hold, and having to weight one thing against another and arrive at what at this moment concretely represents the right thing and good decision for a particular patient.”
Original Article available at: https://peh-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1747-5341-5-16