Fialová, L., Kouba, P., Špaček, M. (eds.) Medicine in the Context of Western Thought. Prague: Galén - Karolinum. 2008.
The history of medicine is a very diverse and ambiguous tradition. Medicine can be thematised in the sense of knowledge or science, in the sense of care for the suffering and sick, as an institution, or as a profession. Medicine, by its direct relationship to life and death, health, illness and suffering, however, also represents a unique view of the cultural history of European thought. The changing image of man, as perceived at different times, is clearly reflected in medicine: the interdependence of life and death, the awareness of one's own vulnerability and the finality and the idea of something beyond that finitude, accompanies the medical tradition in all its forms.
The task of this book is to capture this very diversity and ambiguity. The exclusion of illness from suffering, which is becoming more and more widespread with the emergence of effective technical procedures, supports the concept of a human being as a subject of medical interest at the expense of perceiving a human being as a suffering neighbour and is at odds with its limits, especially in the case of chronic and psychiatric illnesses, whose occurrence is due to the current epidemiological development growing. It is precisely the remembrance of some forgotten ideas and concepts, which are often better able to conceive a person in its integrity, uniqueness and unrepeatability, and thus can enrich today's medicine. Warning that it is not possible to separate medicine as a science or craft from ethics as a relationship to a neighbour is a constant accompanying the development of medicine since its beginnings.