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Cuadernos de antropología social

versión On-line ISSN 1850-275X


ALONSO, Juan Pedro. The hipervigilance of the body: uncertainty and embodiment in the illness experience in Palliative Care. Cuad. antropol. soc. [online]. 2009, n.29, pp. 103-120. ISSN 1850-275X.

This paper works on different ways in that patients whit terminal diseases, attended in a Palliative Care Unit of Buenos Aires city, interrogate their corporal sensations. I analyze certain forms of interrogating the corporal sensations in a context of strong uncertainty related to the experience of the patients and how professionals deal with this kind of situations. First, I explore a way of hipervigilance of the body, where the physical symptoms become a sign of the advance of illness and death. Second, I explore alternative forms of interpreting these sensations which shows that the emotional dimension of illness is central in the experience of suffering. Tentative, precarious, threatening or reparative, the interpretations that patients make of their corporal signs, instead of being separated from biomedical knowledge, are presented as subtle variations that delineate the contours of an imprecise biology and physiology

Palabras clave : Body; Pain; Uncertainty; Palliative Care; End of life.

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