Life Studies Blog (Old)

July 26, 2005

Science based on the perspective of people directly involved (by M)

In the previous entry I wrote that nursing care plays an important role not only in a clinical setting but also in the discussion of brain death, and this was the main theme of Chapter 7 of Brain Dead Person just uploaded to the website. In addition to that, I stressed that the philosophy of nursing may become a source of inspiration when creating a new kind of science in the future. One of the most important characteristics of nursing would be to focus on caring toward irreplaceability: irreplaceability of human life, that of human relationships, and that of time and space family members share in a hospital.

And I believe that this science will be science based on the perspective of people directly involved. "People directly involved" is a translation of the Japanese "toujisha." In the case of brain death, the patient's family are those people, and nurses would be among them in a sense.

"Science from the position of an onlooker has matured independently in spite of many problems. But science from the position of someone directly involved has not even taken shape yet. This new kind of science is to be found where ethical problems of medicine are being formed, like none other than those discussed throughout this book. Science from the position from an onlooker was formed in modern Europe, with astronomy at its heart; staring up at (looking on) the distant stars in the night sky from the earth. Modern medicine is medicine that has adopted this into its essence. Science from the position of those directly involved will probably be formed with modern medicine at its heart, after many people have been forced to become directly involved through matters of life and death. It will become science that constantly focuses on irreplaceability from the standpoint of someone directly involved. I think this idea will, in places of medical treatment, slowly germinate between people who perform nursing care of “irreplaceable” life." (Brain Dead Person, p.165)

By the way, the translations of Chapter 1, 2, 5, and 7 were finished. I am going to unite them and make a free PDF file, "Brain Dead Person Abridged Edition." This will be a handy digital book for those who are interested in life studies and Japanese bioethics.

Photo: Ryukoku University, Kyoto

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