I will have a talk on 'meeting a patient'. This is my abstract:
In my paper I want to start from the fundamental question: what happens when two people meet in a patient’s room? To meet a patient is always a moment of uncertainty and unpredictability. Someone is exposed in the most literal sense of the word. In Corpus, French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy calls this exposure ‘expeausition’- playing on the term ‘exposition’ and ‘peau’ (skin). Skin is literally exposed to contact with another skin or surface. Not only the expeausition of the patient is at stake here, but also that of a health care professional. He touches, supports, helps and is therefore himself also touched in the broadest sense of the word.
Skin and body of people are the conditions to meet and both parties in this encounter are exposed to a heteronomy, a sharedness. This is what Nancy calls partage (being shared and being divided). Only from out of this shared space, an encounter can take place. In my paper, I will present the importance of Nancy’s analysis to the area of phenomenology and health in general, and it’s relationship to Merleau-Ponty’s work in particular..
Keywords: patient, relationship, Jean-Luc Nancy, singularity, professionalism, skin