Dancing in the Street: Convivial Medicine at the End of Normal


Contemporary medicine is increasing in technological prowess and as a proportion of social and economic life, as it simultaneously is seeing biological and social side effects increase. Ivan Illich presciently described contemporary medical, social, and ecological crises as “nemesis” effects, which are the adverse result of processes pursued beyond legitimate limits. Illich’s critique of tools and medicine is brought together with Gerald McKenny’s description of modern medicine’s “Baconian Project,” which in parallel describes how contemporary biomedicine’s vision is constrained to the reduction of suffering and biomedical control. Illichian “conviviality” is promoted as a response to contemporary social challenges, with specific exploration of this concept in the field of medicine. By pursuing convivial medicine, the healing professions are able to resituate medicine in pursuit an integrated vision of human flourishing in a situation of social crisis.

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