International Human Science Research Conference (IHSRC): Culture and morality as the girders of the human experience

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


Abstract Background: Ethics in a healthcare context are closely related to the health professionals’ ability to respond to the patients' vulnerability in a way that provides dignifying care. Further, from a philosophical phenomenological perspective, ethics are situated in the interpersonal interaction between people in which interdependence and vulnerability are central aspects. This means that the ethics of caring are rooted in the interpersonal relationship between the patients and the health professionals and consequently from this particular perspective, the morale and thus the norms and values arise in the concrete encounter. From a health care perspective, this means that the communicative encounter between the patient and the health professionals always contains an ethical element that is of great significance for the patient. The present study deals with the meaning seriously ill hospitalized patients assign to the nonverbal communication of the health professionals. Results: The study is based on qualitative interviews supplemented by observations and applies Paul Ricoeur's phenomenological-hermeneutic theory of interpretation in processing the collected data. The interviews were collected from two medical wards from May to September 2011. Twelve patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, severe lung disease, liver cirrhosis and heart embolisms were included. Through analysis and interpretation of the interviews, two themes were identified: 1) Being confirmed, 2) Being ignored and an inconvenience. This empirical study highlights the significance of the health professionals’ nonverbal communication in the encounter with the seriously ill patients. Time proved to be an important factor in this communicative encounter in that it was of crucial significance for the patients’ experiences of well-being, dignity and a sense of security and of being cared for. Summary: The health professionals’ nonverbal body language and tone of speech are shown to be essential in terms of promoting and protecting the patients' positive thoughts and emotions and therefore represent a significant ethical component in the communicative encounter.
Period11. Aug 201514. Aug 2015
Held atUnknown external organisation, Unknown