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Original scientific paper

Personal Identity in Medical Discourses

Peter R. Ritter ; Ruhr University Bochum, Faculty of Medicine, – St. Joseph University Hospital/Medical Clinic I, Bochum, Germany

Fulltext: german, pdf (464 KB) pages 337-361 downloads: 536* cite
APA 6th Edition
Ritter, P.R. (2012). Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen. Synthesis philosophica, 27 (2), 337-361. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Ritter, Peter R.. "Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen." Synthesis philosophica, vol. 27, no. 2, 2012, pp. 337-361. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Ritter, Peter R.. "Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen." Synthesis philosophica 27, no. 2 (2012): 337-361.
Ritter, P.R. (2012). 'Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen', Synthesis philosophica, 27(2), pp. 337-361. Available at: (Accessed 25 November 2020)
Ritter PR. Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen. Synthesis philosophica [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2020 November 25];27(2):337-361. Available from:
P.R. Ritter, "Personale Identität in medizinischen Diskursen", Synthesis philosophica, vol.27, no. 2, pp. 337-361, 2012. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 25 November 2020]

Person and personal identity, originally philosophical concepts, find its application also in medical discourses. Moreover, their interpretations are not derived exclusively from historical context of philosophical and theological ideas, but acquire an ethical dimension on the level of human behaviour. Their special meaning is obtained in the patient-physician interaction, which is manifested in the bodily-phenomenal interpretation of personality: this ranges from autonomy and purposiveness of a reflectively structured consciousness to the apparent dissociation of the body and the person in the concept of brain death. The understanding of the human being as person is thereby a part of the anthropological paradigm that presents the basis for ethically acceptable action in medical crisis situations. The deficiency caused by the loss of personal autonomy is therefore an indication of a deficient corporeality, which medicine has chosen as its research object..

person; identity; bioethics; patient–physician relationship; corporeality; anthropology

Hrčak ID: 101726


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