Volume 11, Issue 2, Summer 2011
Capability, Vulnerability, and Faith
The mystery of embodiment is ubiquitous in medical settings. Even so, health care professionals may find themselves driven by daily clinical tasks that prevent this mystery from coming to focal awareness. The author explores embodiment from five approaches, (1) offering a simple account of developing a skill that proceeds in several stages from novice to expert, (2) examining critically the “capabilities approach” of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum and what it says and does not say about embodiment, (3) developing a brief description of the human body as vulnerable, (4) exploring the long-term trend in clinical contexts sometimes described as the “commodification of the body,” and (5) highlighting connections between Christian faith and embodiment. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11.2 (Summer 2011): 239–248.