How appropriate Martial’s words are for Phenomenology of Illness by Havi Carel, which explores the concepts of illness and a life well lived. Although overtly a call to arms for philosophers to take more seriously the experience of illness and what this means to be human and for humans, the superb clarity of language makes this an accessible book for anyone interested in this field. It is a text which can speak poignantly to patients, those who care for them, and anybody with an interest in the philosophy of medicine.
It is to the teachers of student doctors, nurses and other future healthcare workers that I particularly address this review. Havi Carel’s book lays bare the injuries endured by patients due to the limitations of the biomedical model of discourse – but thankfully illustrates many possible ways forward.