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  1.  3
    ‘This Place is Not for Children Like Her’: Disability, Ambiguous Belonging and the Claiming of Disadvantage in Postapartheid South Africa.Michelle Botha & Brian Watermeyer - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):4-10.
    This paper presents an exploration of my experiences and unique positioning as a blind, White South African woman. It explores the complex intersections of multiple axes of identity in my own experience to do with disability, race, class and language and, in so doing, presents some ideas about the ways in which disability complicates and disturbs simplistic identity categories. It draws, in particular, on the experience of my first year of formal schooling which took place in 1994 as South Africa (...)
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  2.  13
    Illness as a Phenomenon of Being-in-the-World with Others: Plato’s Charmides, Kleinman and Merleau-Ponty.Susan Bredlau - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):20-26.
    Plato’s Charmides, I argue, is a remarkably productive text for confronting and questioning some common presuppositions about the body and illness, particularly when we take seriously Socrates’ claim that healing Charmides’ headaches requires first examining—and perhaps healing—his soul. I begin by turning to the work of the psychiatrist and medical anthropologist Arthur Kleinman to argue that even if the pain Charmides experiences is more ‘physical’than ‘mental’, a physical exam and physical intervention alone will not necessarily be effective in treating his (...)
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  3.  1
    On the Need for an Ecologically Dimensioned Medical Humanities.Jonathan Coope - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):123-127.
    Increasing calls from medical professionals and scholars suggest an urgent need for better and more widespread understandings of the ecological dimensions of health. Such calls have included: two recent Lancet special commissions on impacts of climate change on health; and recognition by senior figures from the WHO and United Nations of relationships between human impacts on the natural world and disease pandemics, with some suggesting prevention of future pandemics may require a radical reassessment of modernity’s relationship with the natural world.Among (...)
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  4.  5
    Can Death Cafés Resuscitate Morale in Hospitals?Rachel Hammer, Nithya Ravindran & Nathan Nielsen - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):2-3.
    Death Cafés are non-profit social franchises that arise spontaneously in communities to serve as informal forums for discussing death. There is a great need within the medical community for the kind of conversation that Death Cafés foster: open, unstructured, spontaneous, genuine and interdisciplinary dialogue. Burnout in healthcare, with symptoms of exhaustion, depersonalisation and decreased efficacy, is a global crisis, with alarming estimates suggesting one in three practicing physicians experience burnout. While open-forum community-based Death Cafés exist widely, there appears to be (...)
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  5.  11
    The People Speak: Social Media on Euthanasia/Assisted Dying.Chrystal Jaye, Isabelle Lomax-Sawyers, Jessica Young & Richard Egan - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):47-55.
    In New Zealand, aiding and abetting a person to commit suicide or euthanasia even with consent is unlawful. The introduction of a third Bill on assisted dying to the House of Representatives following a high-profile court case afforded an opportunity for examining how assisted dying was discussed in the public sphere. In this article, we report on a discourse analysis of a selection of social media to illustrate the ways in which citizens participate in the voluntary euthanasia debate. The volume (...)
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  6.  21
    Public Health Crises in Popular Media: How Viral Outbreak Films Affect the Public’s Health Literacy.Evie Kendal - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):11-19.
    Infectious disease epidemics are widely recognised as a serious global threat. The need to educate the public regarding health and safety during an epidemic is particularly apparent when considering that behavioural changes can have a profound impact on disease spread. While there is a large body of literature focused on the opportunities and pitfalls of engaging mass news media during an epidemic, given the pervasiveness of popular film in modern society there is a relative lack of research regarding the potential (...)
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  7.  2
    Healthcare Providers’ Engagement with Eating Disorder Recovery Narratives: Opening to Complexity and Diversity.Andrea LaMarre & Carla Rice - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):78-86.
    Interdisciplinary healthcare providers receive only minimal training in identifying, referring for and treating eating disorders and may feel ill-prepared to manage them. There is a need for brief interventions that prepare HCPs for work with people with eating disorders, particularly when they do not fit stereotypes about who might experience an eating disorder. One method for enacting brief interventions that make change in this realm is using digital stories to generate awareness and knowledge. In this article, we discuss the results (...)
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  8.  14
    Counterdiagnosis and the Critical Medical Humanities: Reading Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted and Lauren Slater’s Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir.Katrina Longhurst - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):38-46.
    This article is about the complicated intersections of mental illness, diagnosis and narrative in life writing. It analyses challenges posed to the authority of diagnosis—both as medical label and mode of reading—within two memoirs about mental illness and celebrates the ensuing literary innovation in each text. As such, this article is situated as part of the continuing move within the critical medical humanities to develop more sophisticated readings of illness narratives and emphasises the importance of the role of literary studies (...)
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  9.  11
    The Concept of ‘Illness Without Disease’ Impedes Understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Response to Sharpe and Greco.Steven Lubet & David Tuller - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):e1-e1.
    In a recent article in Medical Humanities, Sharpe and Greco characterise myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome as an ‘illness without disease’, citing the absence of identified diagnostic markers. They attribute patients’ rejection of psychological and behavioural interventions, such as cognitive–behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy, to a ‘paradox’ resulting from a supposed failure to acknowledge that ‘there is no good objective evidence of bodily disease’. In response, we explain that understandings about the causes of and treatments for medical complaints have shifted (...)
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  10.  8
    ‘The Internet Both Reassures and Terrifies’: Exploring the More-Than-Human Worlds of Health Information Using the Story Completion Method.Deborah Lupton - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):68-77.
    Lay people are now encouraged to be active in seeking health and medical information and acting on it to engage in self-care and preventive health practices. Over the past three decades, digital media offering ready access to health information resources have rapidly expanded. In this article, I discuss findings from my study that sought to investigate health information practices by bringing together the social research method of story completion with more-than-human theory and postqualitative inquiry. Narratives of health, illness and embodiment (...)
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  11.  20
    Bringing Narratives From Physicians, Patients and Caregivers Together: A Scoping Review of Published Research.Tracy Moniz, John Costella, Maryam Golafshani, Chris Watling & Lorelei Lingard - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):27-37.
    Patients and family caregivers tell different stories about their illness and care experiences than their physicians do. Better understanding of the relationships among these narratives could offer insight into intersections and disconnections in patient, caregiver and physician perceptions of illness and care. Such understanding could support enhanced patient-centred care in medical education and practice. Narrative writing is increasingly common among physicians, patients and caregivers and uniquely positioned to reveal matters of concern to these groups. We conducted a scoping review to (...)
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  12.  9
    What is the Cultural Value of Dying in an Era of Assisted Dying?Naomi Richards & Marian Krawczyk - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):61-67.
    Assisted dying is now a lawful and integral component of many societies ‘death system’, orienting individual and collective encounters with death and dying. While only a very small number of people living with terminal illness in these societies will opt for an assisted death, the choice, nevertheless, exists for those who satisfy the legal criteria. Theoretically, in these jurisdictions, this turns dying into an optional part of the human life cycle; a final phase of life that, until now, seemed a (...)
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  13.  11
    The Space Between Words: On the Description of Parkinson’s Disease in Jonathan Franzen’s 'The Corrections'.Ben Rutter & Rodney Hermeston - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):56-60.
    Disability or health-related literature has potential to shape public understanding of disability and can also play an important role in medical curricula. However, there appears to be a gap between a health humanities approach which may embrace fictional accounts and a cultural disability studies approach which is deeply sceptical of fiction written by non-disabled authors. This paper seeks to reconcile these perspectives and presents an analysis of the language used by Jonathan Franzen in his description of Parkinson’s disease in the (...)
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  14.  3
    Editor’s Note.Brandy Schillace - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):1-1.
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  15.  4
    Eggs, Sugar, Grated Bones: Colour-Based Food Preferences in Autism, Eating Disorders, and Beyond.Mattias Strand - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):87-94.
    In 1913, eccentric French composer Erik Satie wrote a fragmentary, diary-like essay where he depicted a strikingly rigid diet consisting solely of white foods: eggs, sugar, coconuts, rice, cream cheese, fuchsia juice and so on. Satie’s brief essay has later been used as one of many puzzle pieces in attempts to retrospectively diagnose him with autism spectrum disorder. With Satie’s white meal as a starting point, this paper explores colour-based food preferences and selective eating in clinical and non-clinical populations, with (...)
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  16.  2
    Recognition, Collaboration and Community: Science Fiction Representations of Robot Carers in Robot & Frank, Big Hero 6 and Humans.Yugin Teo - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):95-102.
    In the 2010s, a small number of science fiction films and television series exploring the theme of the robot carer and how humans respond to them were released. This paper explores three works in this regard: the films Robot & Frank, Big Hero 6 and the television series Humans. Examining these works with some of the ethical issues currently being discussed in the use of robot technology in care work, this paper demonstrates how they align themselves with, but also challenge (...)
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  17.  2
    ‘Look Under the Sheets!’ Fighting with the Senses in Relation to Defecation and Bodily Care in Hospitals and Care Institutions.Sjaak van der Geest & Shahaduz Zaman - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):103-111.
    This essay focuses on sensory aspects of care in situations surrounding defecation in hospitals and other care institutions. Sensory activity does not merely encompass pleasant experiences that enhance healing and well-being. Anthropologists—and other disciplines as well—have paid little attention to unpleasant and disgusting experiences that our senses meet and that may rather increase pain and suffering in the context of care. Our essay therefore reflects on a common but highly uncomfortable aspect of being a—sometimes bedridden—patient: defecation. The sensory effects of (...)
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  18.  2
    Found in Translation: Navigating Uncertainty to Save a Child's Heart. Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in Cape Town, South Africa.Lauraine Margaret Helen Vivian, Cynthia Hunter, Lawrence Tan, George Comitis, Guy Neveling & John Lawrenson - 2021 - Medical Humanities 47 (1):112-122.
    This medical humanities paper describes our qualitative research into pathways to care and informed consent for 10 children who had cardiac surgery in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Our multidisciplinary team consists of cardiologists, anthropologists, a social scientist and a general practitioner in two sites, South Africa and Australia. This paper builds on our first publication in a specialist cardiology journal on a ‘qualitative snapshot’ of these children’s life stories from 2011 to 2016 but (...)
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