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From Detached Concern to Empathy – Humanizing Medical Practice - Oxford Scholarship Online
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From Detached Concern to Empathy: Humanizing Medical Practice

Jodi Halpern


Physicians recognize the importance of patients' emotions in healing yet believe their own emotional responses represent lapses in objectivity. Patients complain that physicians are too detached. The book argues that by empathizing with patients, rather than detaching, physicians can best help them. Yet there is no consistent view of what, precisely, clinical empathy involves. This book challenges the traditional assumption that empathy is either purely intellectual or an expression of sympathy. Sympathy, according to many physicians, involves over-identifying with patients, threatening object ... More

Keywords: physicians, patients, clinical empathy, emotional reasoning, medical practice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780195111194
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195111194.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jodi Halpern, author
Assistant Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, University of California, Berkeley, USA