BSP Podcast: Joe MacDonagh – ‘Dasein, ethics, & nursing practice

podcast update

This episode of the BSP Podcast sees Joe MacDonagh presenting a paper from our 2022 annual conference, ‘Engaged Phenomenology II’.

Season 6 episode 145: 23 May 2024

Season 6 continues with another presentation from our 2022 annual conference, Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Spatiality. This episode features a presentation from Joe MacDonagh, Technological University Dublin.

Listen to this episode on the BSP’s Podbean site

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Joe MacDonagh
‘Daseinic elements of the ethicality of nursing practice’

This paper will examine the ethical basis of nursing using the prism of Heidegger’s idea of dasein. It will look at how, in the nursing ‘moment’ between a nurse and their patient, a nurse is called upon to be ethically responsive to the patient in a manner that engages in a dialogue with all those nurses who have provided care theretofore, are currently doing so and who will do so in the future. In direct patient care a nurse is responding to the ‘other’ in front of her, with their specific personhood and needs, but also to the generalised other person who may fall into one or more disease categories. This toggling between a specific and generalised patient ‘other’ presents dilemmas for nurses of how to shape care that attends to the needs of that individual patient while observing care guidelines and professional ethical precepts that are required by hospitals and professional nursing bodies. Data will be presented from interviews with nurses and from field notes observing nursing practice to substantiate the above and to show how nursing practice is not simply the observance of set and invariant modes of activity. Rather, nurses have to navigate the needs of: their professional training, their empathy with an often empained patient other, the changing expectations of those receiving care, the embodiedness of the other and their own embodiedness as well as supporting the patient to wellness, a less empained existence or through palliation to death. An understanding of nursing will be presented in which hermeneusis is suggested as a central part of nursing practice, wherein nurses- acting ethically- continually interpret the needs of their patients in providing the most appropriate care, against the backdrop of a constantly shifting personally and professionally accumulated knowledge of their role in providing care.

Biography: Dr Joe MacDonagh is a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the research ethics boards of two acute hospitals in Dublin, Ireland. He is also a member of the Life and Medical Sciences committee of the Royal Irish Academy. He has a particular interest in bioethics, and has been involved in the organisation of seminars and webinars on this area. Finally, he is a former Honorary Secretary of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society.

Further Information:

This recording is taken from our Annual UK Conference 2022: Engaged Phenomenology II: Explorations of Embodiment, Emotions, and Sociality (Exeter, UK / Hybrid) with the University of Exeter. Sponsored by the Wellcome Centre, Egenis, and the Shame and Medicine project. For the conference our speakers either presented in person at Exeter or remotely to people online and in-room, and the podcast episodes are recorded from the live broadcast feeds.

The British Society for Phenomenology is a not-for-profit organisation set up with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of Phenomenology and other cognate arms of philosophical thought. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal, events, and podcast. Why not find out more, join the society, and subscribe to our journal the JBSP?