Only an intellectual Luddite would deny the enormous benefits that have accrued to humankind from the scrupulous application of scientific methods. But not all essential information can be confirmed in the laboratory or by modern statistical analysis. Not all aspects of illness can be reduced to facts verified by double-blind studies and by the strictest scientific techniques. “Medicine tells us as much about the meaningful performance of healing, suffering, and dying as chemical analysis tells us about the aesthetic value of pottery,” Ivan Ilyich wrote in Limits to Medicine. We confine ourselves to a narrow realm indeed if we exclude from accepted knowledge the contributions of human experience and insight. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
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