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Beauty 

Beauty
Chapter:
Beauty
Author(s):

Mark Lazenby

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199364541.003.0004
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date: 18 January 2018

Being alive is beautiful. The habit of beauty is seeing patients’ aliveness and seeking to restore or promote it, even as patients are dying. Injury, not ugliness, is the opposite of beauty, as Elaine Scarry points out. An injury is an injustice, or something that is not right about a person’s life. It is in this sense that an injury—that which threatens aliveness—is a moral wrong. Nurses seek to redress injustices by seeking to restore or promote patients’ aliveness, even as they are dying. That is, by seeking to promote or restore aliveness, nurses restore and distribute justice to patients’ lives.

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