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Mette Maja Mouritsen
Mette Maja Mouritsen


Respons and responsibility

The acts of responding and showing responsibility can be very challenging, something I continuously work on with myself. Based on a very useful comment to my post: communication on different levels, and my own question: "Who is then responsible for the sensations?" I had the following reflections on responding and responsibility. The comment was as quoted:

"I appreciated your post on communication levels ... i was thinking about this topic in yoga yesterday! An interesting thought was the rhythmic massage of our lungs on our hearts and vice versa.

I could go on and on and on ... but I appreciated the question about responsibility and thought it similar two Uncle Ben (Spiderman) or Voltaire "with great power comes great responsibility" I see this as the same as consciousness ... with this awareness we gain agency and by this responsibility "

This led to the following exchange and reflections:

I appreciate very much your comments. What you point out is really a dilemma, which I recognize very well, and which I still find difficult in my profession as a doctor.

For a long time doctors had a greater knowledge and awareness of the human body, than the majority of the population, and with it a responsibility. In many ways, we doctors have been given this responsibility, and we have probably taken it gladly, and we did a Hippocratic oath on it.

At the same time, it seems that we have lost some humbleness by forgetting that we will never know the entire truth. And some doctors have even stopped inquiring and looking for other more conscious / spiritual answers and solutions to the unknown or simply accepting the silent work of the unknown. It is fully understandable as we have our job to fulfil, however it seems to me that the time has come where we must let go of some of our responsibility, for the best of everyone. I mean simply admit we do not know all answers, and we need support from others, with a non-scientific approach.

To me it seems that too many doctors have lost that part of their responsibility to continue to ask humble questions and not entirely relay on scientific findings but also supporting the patients own choices into the many other healing ways, which already exists and many patients already use including some cancer patients.

As for my professional work, I try to do my best to balance the acts of responding to other peoples truths, taking the responsibility and sharing responsibility with the patients, and show humility, and to live on with my failures in this balancing art.

The fact that I have experienced personally and through my clinical practice, that body, mind, spirit is a unit and that it can bring more sustainable health if we are responding to humans / patients with this knowledge, makes me feel responsible in another way. I do my best to offer the patients to take back the responsibility for their own well-being and choices in life, as I know it brings healthier decisions. It makes me feel responsible of sharing my experiences and knowledge.

It is not entirely for the sake of the individual / patient, but also the community, since many healthcare professionals and many others who takes the responsibility for other humans, are also stressed and get sick, and it seems that healthcare resources are limited, in the way they are distributed and used right now.

So I am doing my best to share my knowledge in an emphatic way, continuing to listen and questioning in respect. I write and listen to the responses and learn from my mistakes. It's people's own choice whether they want to read what I write or not. In my work as a professional I have another responsibility also to keep on sharing the responsibility, as I know fundamentally that I can’t take the responsibility for another person’s life. I often ask people directly whether they want to listen to my experiences of their situation, and explain to them that symptom treatment is rarely enough while underlining that they are the only one who may come to know the reason why it all started and also if a treatment suits them well or not. It is about trusting in our own sensations.

If I stay true to my sensations and my personal and professional experiences and respond to them in an empathetic way, then I don't think that I hurt other people, and I must confine in others that if they are hurt they will express it, examine it and take care of it, it is their responsibility. It is a proces and sometimes a difficult balance, and we are infinite students.

His final statement were "the topic is so vast and I am so finite.."

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