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The philosopher-physician George Canguilhem analyzes how health professionals’ efforts to promote biocommunicability produce incommunicability by reflecting on how patients’ experience of illness forces them to reexperience their bodies and how they are situated vis-à-vis the world. These new spaces are not interpretable through the lenses patients used in negotiating their prior, “normal” lives, leaving the pathological state as the only world that is experientially accessible. In clinical encounters, physicians ask patients to use a lost language of normality to describe alien and confusing worlds, thereby impeding doctor-patient communication and undermining patients’ struggles to know and articulate the pathological worlds that are becoming “normal” for them. Canguilhem helps challenge biocommunicability as the necessary basis for doctor-patient communication and documents how physicians push patients into incommunicability.

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