The Impact of Vulnerability

Ruthann Knechel Johansen

in Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231146
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927766 | DOI:
The Impact of Vulnerability

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This chapter presents several challenges faced by Erik, whose mother got the news of his accident when she was attending a prayer in church. She had many questions to ask from the caller, but tried to concentrate on the directions to the hospital that they gave, and tried to subdue catastrophic mental images of death and the severely mangled bodies of the entire canoe party. Erik's mother found it very difficult to inform her husband and her twelve-year-old daughter, Sonia about the accident. Erik's family members met Richard Weeder, the Young Friends' adviser, who was a surgeon himself, and the emergency room physician at the hospital, and both tried to be reassuring, describing everything that had already been done for Erik. Each day Erik's and his family members' vulnerability deepened and manifested itself in new ways.

Keywords: serious accident; mangled bodies; catastrophic mental images; emergency room physician; rituals of meditating

Chapter.  8266 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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