Body Talk in the Clinic as a Memoir of Real Lives: Katerina’s Story

Betty Kafanelis, Paul A. Komesaroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The secret worlds of life experience, culture, sexuality and emotions are often expressed through physical “symptoms”. The lived body becomes the entry point for professionals to enter the world of the patient. This article, arising out of a study of the experiences of Greek women at menopause, discusses the story of one woman and interprets the cultural and emotional inscriptions that are carried into the clinical setting. It illustrates the multiple layers of corporeal meaning engendered by menopause and the clinical interactions surrounding it. It argues that the bodies that present themselves for consultation and examination are phenomenological memoirs of suffering, struggle and illness. Even in its most technical aspects medical practice cannot ignore the philosophies, values, goals and cultural experiences of those who seek its assistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Greece
  • Menopause
  • Philosophy
  • Women

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