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Unheard: The Medical Practice of Silencing

Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan

4 July 2024 All day

‘There’s really no such thing as the “voiceless.” There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.’ Arundhati Roy

This is the prescription for a better health service for all.

Imagine a healthcare system that thrives and listens, instead of dismisses.

Dr Rageshri Dhairyawan believes such a healthcare system can exist, and using her experience as doctor, researcher, and patient, she gives her prescription for change, showing what can happen if we just listen.

In Unheard, Dr Dhairyawan takes us on a journey through history to show how not listening to patients has been ingrained in the story of medicine. Western medicine was built on the understanding that power should always lie with the doctor, and that patients should be powerless to decisions made about their body if it is done to make them well. This, alongside the prejudices of society that are reflected in medicine, has led to dramatic gaps in medical knowledge because for centuries vast demographics of people have not been heard.

By amplifying the voices of the most marginalised in society we will not only achieve health equity, but improve medicine for all. With true stories of silencing, neglect and injustice, Dr Dhairyawan opens the lid on the devastating impact medical bias can have and offers a way forward in which active and engaged listening is the new frontier.

This is a story of the unheard, and a timely exposé of the medical world.

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