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From Detached Concern to Empathy
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Table of Contents

1: Failures of Emotional Communication in Medical Practice 2: Managing Emotions as a Professional Ideal 3: Emotional Reasoning 4: The Concept of Clinical Empathy 5: Respecting Patient Autonomy: From Non-Interference to Empathy 6: Cultivating Empathy in Medical Practice

About the Author

Jodi Halpern, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanitites at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her B.A., M.D. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University, did an internship at the UCLA/Wadsworth VA Medical Centers, and completed a residency in psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. She won the Louis Nahum Prize for her medical school thesis, and her Ph.D. thesis was awarded the Porter Prize, which is given to the outstanding dissertation at Yale of general interest across the disciplines.

Reviews

"Halpern's book is the result of many years of experience with patients...Her skillful interweaving of philosophical, medical, and psychological writings on emotion and empathy with descriptions of real-life cases results in a book that is unusually vivid, moving, and persuasive."--USA Academic "Jodi Halpern presents a scholarly and cogent exposition of the philpsophic underpinnings of the concept of empathy."--JAMA "...may be rightly viewed as a seminal work in developing a scholarly understanding of the subject of empathy and will assist in the development of sound training and evaluation methods for imparting this skill to physicians."--American Medical Association "I would recommend this book not as a manual, but as a vital reminder of how things should be, and as an insightful and philosophically educational analysis of how things probably are for the luckiest patients in our practice and hospitals"--Philip Berry in British Medical Journal "This is a beautifully written and beautifully reasoned book. Physician-ethicist Jodi Halpern crafts on of the finest descriptions available of psychiatry's advance toward empathic involvement with patients. Intertwining psychiatry and ethics is no easy task. However, in Halpern's hands, a blend of formal research, philosophical modeling, and straight talk shows how neatly psychiatry and ethics work together."--Philip Candilis, M.D., in Psychiatric Services "...this in an important book. I recommend it to physicians and members of medical faculties for whom its subject matter is important. It is a serious essay on subjectivity, a topic about which we will be seeing more in the coming years. It repays the work of reading it."--Eric Cassell, M.D., in The New England Journal of Medicine "Dr. Jodi Halpern has written a remarkable book articulating a view of clinical empathy that has practical and philosophical implications for all helping professionals, as well as for normative and relational ethics within the helping professionals. I believe that this book should be required reading for all practicing physicians, ethicists, nurses, social workers, other helping professionals, and students in these fields. Dr. Halpern powerfully illuminates a moral vision of helping that resists paternalism and unexamined emotional straitjackets that prevent professionals from seeing and responding skillfully to vulnerability and suffering."--Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics "From Detached Concern to Empathy is a sophisticated, rigorous, and extremely well annotated defense of emotional realism in the patient-physician relationship. Bringing philosophy (both the analytic and continental traditions), psychoanalytic theory, and cultural criticism to the subject of emotion, Halpern's analysis is both encompassing and exact. Her demonstration of the impact of social forces, historical precedent, and economic factors on interpersonal dynamics within the structure of medicine, combined with an exploration of the underlying ideology recalls the richness and value of critical social theory. But more than a critical investigation, Halpern includes a positive project: physicians' development of empathic engagement with patients as a means to maintain humanity in medicine under the challenging organizational, political, and economic conditions physicians currently face."--Matthew Rottnek, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, APA Newsletter "Halpern's book is the result of many years of experience with patients...Her skillful interweavign of philosophical, medical, and psychological writings on emotion and empathy with descriptions of real-life cases results in a book that is unusually vivid, moving, and persuasive."--USA Academic "Halpern's book is the result of many years of experience with patients...Her skillful interweaving of philosophical, medical, and psychological writings on emotion and empathy with descriptions of real-life cases results in a book that is unusually vivid, moving, and persuasive."--USA Academic "Jodi Halpern presents a scholarly and cogent exposition of the philpsophic underpinnings of the concept of empathy."--JAMA "...may be rightly viewed as a seminal work in developing a scholarly understanding of the subject of empathy and will assist in the development of sound training and evaluation methods for imparting this skill to physicians."--American Medical Association "I would recommend this book not as a manual, but as a vital reminder of how things should be, and as an insightful and philosophically educational analysis of how things probably are for the luckiest patients in our practice and hospitals"--Philip Berry in British Medical Journal "This is a beautifully written and beautifully reasoned book. Physician-ethicist Jodi Halpern crafts on of the finest descriptions available of psychiatry's advance toward empathic involvement with patients. Intertwining psychiatry and ethics is no easy task. However, in Halpern's hands, a blend of formal research, philosophical modeling, and straight talk shows how neatly psychiatry and ethics work together."--Philip Candilis, M.D., in Psychiatric Services "...this in an important book. I recommend it to physicians and members of medical faculties for whom its subject matter is important. It is a serious essay on subjectivity, a topic about which we will be seeing more in the coming years. It repays the work of reading it."--Eric Cassell, M.D., in The New England Journal of Medicine "Dr. Jodi Halpern has written a remarkable book articulating a view of clinical empathy that has practical and philosophical implications for all helping professionals, as well as for normative and relational ethics within the helping professionals. I believe that this book should be required reading for all practicing physicians, ethicists, nurses, social workers, other helping professionals, and students in these fields. Dr. Halpern powerfully illuminates a moral vision of helping that resists paternalism and unexamined emotional straitjackets that prevent professionals from seeing and responding skillfully to vulnerability and suffering."--Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics "From Detached Concern to Empathy is a sophisticated, rigorous, and extremely well annotated defense of emotional realism in the patient-physician relationship. Bringing philosophy (both the analytic and continental traditions), psychoanalytic theory, and cultural criticism to the subject of emotion, Halpern's analysis is both encompassing and exact. Her demonstration of the impact of social forces, historical precedent, and economic factors on interpersonal dynamics within the structure of medicine, combined with an exploration of the underlying ideology recalls the richness and value of critical social theory. But more than a critical investigation, Halpern includes a positive project: physicians' development of empathic engagement with patients as a means to maintain humanity in medicine under the challenging organizational, political, and economic conditions physicians currently face."--Matthew Rottnek, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, APA "Halpern's book is the result of many years of experience with patients...Her skillful interweavign of philosophical, medical, and psychological writings on emotion and empathy with descriptions of real-life cases results in a book that is unusually vivid, moving, and persuasive."--USA Academic "From medicine, patients seek not only a diagnosis but an acknowledgment that they are more than their sick and vulnerable bodies. Jodi Halperen's subtle and perceptive book, helps health care professionals bridge the chasm that too often separates sick patients and those who care for them. [j2] Halprern's book is not only for doctors but for nurses and other health professionals who have much to learn from her nuanced discussion of empathy."--Suzanne Gordon, author of Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines "Jodi Halpern's book opens many doors for deep reform for improving our health care system by showing how empathy can be taught and learned and how powerful it is for medical effectiveness. Every physician, nurse, social worker and therapist will come away from this book with a new paradigm for empathy and new practical insights on effective helping relationships. A must read for all helping professionals, including teachers." --Patricia Benner, R.N., Ph.D. FAAN, author of From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice "This lovely volume fixes on a profound truth in medicine: to the degree we are moved by our patients suffering we are better able to help them. The age of proteomics and genomics is the age of 'objective reality,', yet for the patient it is all about humane empathetic care. Halpern in this scholarly and wonderfully readable volume shows us that empathy is just as critical for the physician and without it healing cannot begin. This book is a must read for all of us with an interest in medical practice." --Abraham Verghese MD, author of Cutting for StoneCUTTING FOR STONE, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University.

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