Abstract : ABSTRACT
Medicine can be approached as a technology or a philosophy as along with the scientific aspects, social, cultural and political influences have a significant affect on health. As medicine developed over the years, the main efforts were to reduce ambiguity and uncertainty which however led to reductionist approaches. Cartesian dualism successfully isolated the “mind” from the “body,” thereby diminishing the significance of psychological inputs in the maintenance of health. Though Flexner must have intended an appropriate balance in medical education, the scientific aspects of medicine outweighed the social and humanistic aspects of the profession the world over. Technology has allowed the shrinkage of face-to-face discourse between doctors and patients and has weakened the doctor - patient relationship thereby restricting creative thinking. Nowadays, most medical colleges have the limited scope of only transferring knowledge and techniques to students. Medical science has been rendered to a technology, consisting only of drug therapies, surgeries and procedures. Students are in danger of ending up as automatons that can only offer technical assistance to their patients and cannot distinguish between situations, circumstances and other patient peculiarities. Medicine practiced as a technology is far inferior to that practiced as a philosophy. Philosophy must however address all three dimensions in Medicine; epistemological, metaphysical and methodological. Medical doctors are in the unique position of grappling with higher issues of life such as death, knowledge, reason and religion. It is also the doctor’s role to help a patient and his loved ones to come to terms with illness and approach it with the right knowledge and attitude. Knowledge of philosophy can counterbalance knowledge of science, and can put healthcare into the right perspective.
Keywords: Medicine, technology, philosophy, uncertainty in medicine, reductionist approaches.
Keyword : Medicine, technology, philosophy, uncertainty in medicine, reductionist approaches.