Imagination in practice

Journal of Medical Ethics 23 (1):45-50 (1997)
Abstract
Current focus in the health care ethics literature on the character of the practitioner has a reputable pedigree. Rather than offer a staple diet of Aristotelian ethics in the undergraduate curricula, perhaps instead one should follow Murdoch's suggestion and help the practitioner to develop vision and moral imagination, because this has a practical rather than a theoretical aim. The imaginative capacity of the practitioner plays an important part in both the quality of the nurse's role enactment and the moral strategies which the nurse uses. It also plays a central part in the practitioner's ability to communicate with a patient and in the type of person which the practitioner becomes. Can the moral imagination be stimulated and nurtured? Some philosophers and literary critics argue that not only is this possible, but that literature is the means of doing so. If this is the case then a place should be made for literature in already crowded health care curricula
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DOI 10.1136/jme.23.1.45
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