The Potential of the 'Compassionate Gaze' against Epistemic Injustice in the Patient-Physician Relationship


  • Felix Lene Ihrig



Not only Alok Vaid-Menon criticized the prevailing societal approach to encountering others with comprehension rather than compassion during their visit to the Man Enough podcast – this discrepancy is also frequently discussed in a medical context. One group of people regularly confronted by others' failing attempts at comprehension are those whose gender does not align with their assigned gender at birth or whose presentation does not conform to it. The shift in perspective proposed by Alok Vaid-Menon, from comprehension to compassion, primarily addressed the everyday interactions with trans and gender-nonconforming individuals and went viral on social media shortly after the podcast's release. However, what could such a shift in perspective mean for medical care? How can healthcare professionals and patients benefit from it? Based on the preliminary study of my dissertation project, I have gathered initial insights to address these questions, which I will present in the following and explore further in subsequent project phases.