Healing Without Waging War: Beyond Military Metaphors in Medicine and HIV Cure Research

American Journal of Bioethics 16 (10):3-11 (2016)

Authors
Anton A van Niekerk
University of Stellenbosch
Abstract
Military metaphors are pervasive in biomedicine, including HIV research. Rooted in the mind set that regards pathogens as enemies to be defeated, terms such as “shock and kill” have become widely accepted idioms within HIV cure research. Such language and symbolism must be critically examined as they may be especially problematic when used to express scientific ideas within emerging health-related fields. In this article, philosophical analysis and an interdisciplinary literature review utilizing key texts from sociology, anthropology, history, and Chinese and African studies were conducted to investigate the current proliferation of military metaphors. We found the use of these metaphors to be ironic, unfortunate, and unnecessary. To overcome military metaphors we propose to give them less aggressive meanings, and/or replace them with more peaceful metaphors. Building on previous authors' work, we argue for the increased use of “journey” metaphors as meaningful, cross-culturally app...
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DOI 10.1080/15265161.2016.1214305
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References found in this work BETA

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
Metaphors We Live By.Max Black - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (2):208-210.
.J. Annas (ed.) - 1976

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Citations of this work BETA

Metaphors as Equipment for Living.Tod Chambers - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (10):12-13.
Journeys as Shared Human Experiences.Sarah Perrault & Meaghan M. O'Keefe - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (10):13-15.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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