David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medical Humanities 37 (2):68-72 (2011)
Several scholarly trends, such as narrative medicine, patient-centered and relationship-centered care, have long advocated for the value of the patient's voice in the practice of medicine. As theories of textual analysis are applied to the understanding of stories of illness, doctors and scholars have the opportunity to develop more nuanced and multifaceted appreciation for these accounts. We realize, for example, that a patient's story is rarely “just a story,” but is rather the conscious and unconscious representation and performance of intricate personal motives and dominant meta-narrative influences. Overall, this complexifying of narrative is beneficial as it reduces readers' and listeners' naïve assumptions about reliability and authenticity. However, the growing body of scholarship contesting various aspects of personal narratives may have the unintended effect of de-legitimizing the patient's voice because of concerns regarding its trustworthiness. Further, the academy's recent focus on transgressive, boundary-violating counternarratives, while meant to right the balance of what constitutes acceptable, even valuable stories in medicine, may inadvertently trivialize more conventional, conformist stories as inauthentic. While acknowledging the not inconsiderable pitfalls awaiting the interpreter of illness narratives, I argue that ultimately, physicians and scholars should approach patient stories with an attitude of narrative humility, despite inevitable limits on reliability and authenticity. While critical inquiry is an essential part of both good clinical practice and scholarship, first and foremost both types of professionals should respect that patients tell the stories they need to tell
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert J. Marshall & Alan Bleakley (2013). Lost in Translation. Homer in English; the Patient's Story in Medicine. Medical Humanities 39 (1):47-52.
Similar books and articles
Jonathan Sinclair Carey (1987). Empathy and the Expert Witness. Journal of Medical Humanities and Bioethics 8 (1):19-25.
Sheryl Brahnam (2012). To Hear—to Say: The Mediating Presence of the Healing Witness. [REVIEW] AI and Society 27 (1):53-90.
Daniel Hunt & Ronald Carter (2012). Seeing Through The Bell Jar: Investigating Linguistic Patterns of Psychological Disorder. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities 33 (1):27-39.
David Owen (1987). Hume Versus Price on Miracles and Prior Probabilities: Testimony and the Bayesian Calculation. Philosophical Quarterly 37 (147):187-202.
Arthur W. Frank (1995). The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics. University of Chicago Press.
Robert Audi (2009). Reliability as a Virtue. Philosophical Studies 142 (1):43 - 54.
Mary T. Shannon (2012). Face Off: Searching for Truth and Beauty in the Clinical Encounter. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3):329-335.
Anne Hawkins (1984). Two Pathographies: A Study in Illness and Literature. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (3):231-252.
D. Kirklin (2010). Bearing Witness to People Who Refuse to Be Fragmented by Illness. Medical Humanities 36 (1):1-1.
Richard J. Baron (1981). Bridging Clinical Distance: An Empathic Rediscovery of the Known. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (1):5-24.
M. A. B. Degenhardt (2009). Richard Peters and Valuing Authenticity. Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (1):209-222.
Peter Murphy (2006). Reliability Connections Between Conceivability and Inconceivability. Dialectica 60 (2):195-205.
Anton Vedder & Robert Wachbroit (2003). Reliability of Information on the Internet: Some Distinctions. Ethics and Information Technology 5 (4):211-215.
C. Behan McCullagh (2000). The Structure and Objectivity of Historical Narratives. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000:145-158.
Added to index2011-07-15
Total downloads13 ( #138,464 of 1,679,395 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #111,749 of 1,679,395 )
How can I increase my downloads?