The strength to be patient
To set medicine within the context of a good or faithful life requires virtues that give physicians and patients the skills to understand and practice the kind of care medicine is capable of giving. We begin with a prayer that names some of these virtues. We then show how the language of medicine impedes these virtues by fostering the illusion that medicine will free us from illness and mortality. While Aristotle's account of virtue and happiness seems capable of telling us how to live with finitude, Jonathan Lear shows how it involves another fantasy of escape from it. We then show how Karl Barth's account of health offers physicians and patients a language by which both the capabilities and the limitations of medicine may serve rather than undermine a good life.
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