I gather from this, though it may be a fictional account, that he is a philosophy tutor. A woman in one of his seminars started sounding off like Nietzche about how investing money in health care to save people's lives is 'slave morality' and that we should let them die. Which, OK, if you have ever read the comments on a web log, or sat in a seminar, you will be familiar with this point of view.
But what mesmerised him was that his student was obviously in remission from cancer therapy, and had for example lost all her hair. His account is of the crashing together of his humane sympathy with her illness, and its dissonance with her philosophical position. This leads on to a wider discussion of the interface between philosophical stance and what for what of a better word I can only call 'belief'. Well worth a read.
My title for this entry BTW is a comment on the dissonance of my own position.