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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this article, the author reflects on the importance of translation and ethics in psychiatry based on his personal experience as a patient suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, alcoholism, and cancer. He talks about his sessions with psychiatrists he has met—what he terms their “human translating.” More specifically, he emphasizes the translation activities between patients and psychiatrists that matter to him, mainly because they are not only fraught with ethical dangers but also present an opportunity for both patient and psychiatrist to excel. The author recalls his exchange with a psychiatrist and how they translated each other’s words very well, and how their session illustrates many ethical qualities for which the doctor should be proud. Finally, he lists the qualities that he deems important and useful and accessible today as they were in 1990, including respect for the patient’s intellect and pace of thinking, appreciation for the patient’s pain, and absence of intellectual competition with the patient.

Keywords: translation, ethics, psychiatry, schizophrenia, alcoholism, cancer, psychiatrists, patients, human translating

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