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The ethics of caring 

The ethics of caring
Chapter:
The ethics of caring
Author(s):

Clive Baldwin

and Brandi Estey-Burtt

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0058
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date: 25 November 2017

This chapter outlines an ethics of caring by examining the philosophical basis of caring as well as components of the caring relationship in a psychiatric setting. It draws on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, particularly his idea of the Self’s responsibility toward a vulnerable and radically different Other. It also argues that Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of ‘lines of flight’ challenges modern conceptualizations of personhood by positing a personhood based on sociality, fluidity, and multiplicity. Narrative presents a link between responsibility to the Other and respect for the Other’s personal process of becoming and thus may be used as a caring approach in psychiatry. An ethics of caring thus promotes the wellbeing of the patient by means of responsible, dynamic relationality for which narrative offers one promising expression.

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