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Journal of Medical Humanities

Marty Fink
This paper will examine Choir Boy (2005), a trans coming-of-age novel by Charlie Anders, to disrupt historically rooted medical narratives of gender transition. Through a disability studies lens, this paper locates vocal performance as a means of speaking back to gatekeeping practices held in place by medical authorities since the inception of transsexuality as a classificatory category. Offering imaginative alternatives to "wrong body" diagnostics, this analysis places cultural texts in conversation with disability theory to reframe the trans self as a singing body that cannot be reduced to normalizing biomedical practices...
July 11, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Phillip Barrish
Due to an editing error, this article was initially published with an incorrect title. The correct title is reflected above. The original article has been corrected.
June 29, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Adrian Chapman
Contributing to renewed scholarly interest in R. D. Laing and his circle, and in the radical therapeutic community of Kingsley Hall, London (1965-1970), this article offers the first article-length reading of Mary Barnes' and Joseph Berke's Mary Barnes: Two Accounts of a Journey through Madness. This text offers views of anti-psychiatry 'on the ground' that critique the 1960s utopianism of Laing's championing of madness as a metanoic, quasi-psychedelic voyage. Barnes' story, too, reveals tensions within the anti-psychiatric movement...
June 2, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Phillip Barrish
Chang-Rae Lee's 2014 novel On Such a Full Sea uses the genre of speculative fiction to reflect on longstanding healthcare debates in the United States that have recently crystalized around the Affordable Care Act. The novel imagines the political economy of healthcare in a future America devastated by environmental illness. What kind of care is available and to whom? Who provides it? Who pays for it? What about distribution and access? The different healthcare systems governing each of three geo-social zones in Lee's future society represent exaggerated versions of the scenarios participants in the ACA debate claim their opponents' health policies would produce...
June 2, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Lala Tanmoy Das
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 19, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Agnese Sile
In relationships 'I' and 'you' become 'we'; despite individual differences, couples obtain an interdependent identity due to their shared interactions. During a serious illness, biological and biographical disruptions can put any reciprocal relationship under strain. Through intermedial analysis of Judith Fox's photographic project, I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer's (2009), I will explore ways the couple make sense of illness, how illness is communicated through text and image and also to identify the limits of representation...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Upreet Dhaliwal
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 24, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Monica Orlando
Collaborative memoirs by co-writers with and without autism can enable the productive interaction of the voices of the writers in ways that can empower rather than exploit the disabled subject. Carly's Voice, co-written by Arthur Fleischmann and his autistic daughter Carly, demonstrates the capacity for such life narratives to facilitate the relational interaction between writers in the negotiation of understandings of disability. Though the text begins by focusing on the limitations of life with autism, it develops into a collaboration which helps both writers move toward new ways of understanding disability and their own and one another's life stories...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
James M Wilkins
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Donald Brunnquell
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Sara Read
John Cleland's 1740s pornographic novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure repeatedly depicts and eroticises the act of defloration. As such it is a revealing illustration of what Ivan Bloch termed the 'defloration mania' of the eighteenth century. This article maps narrative events on to contemporary medical depictions of first intercourse to show the ways that the theories and ideas presented in medical and pseudo-medical texts transferred into erotic fiction and demonstrates how in some instances the bloody defloration scenes can be read as being sex during menstruation, an act which was culturally forbidden at this time...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Philip R Olson
This article examines the women-led natural deathcare movment in the early 21st century U.S., focusing upon the movement's non-coincidental epistemological and gender-political similarities to the natural childbirth movement. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and drawing upon the author's intensive interviews with pioneers and leaders of the U.S. natural deathcare movement, as well as from the author's own participation in the movement, this article argues that the political similarities between the countercultural natural childbirth and natural deathcare movements reveal a common cultural provocation-one that spans the natal transition and the fatal transition...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Sonya Charles, Allison B Wolf
In this article, we discuss decision making during labor and delivery, specifically focusing on decision making around offering women a trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC). Many have discussed how humans are notoriously bad at assessing risks and how we often distort the nature of various risks surrounding childbirth. We will build on this discussion by showing that physicians make decisions around TOLAC not only based on distortions of risk, but also based on personal values (i.e. what level of risk are you comfortable with or what types of risks are you willing to take) rather than medical data (or at least medical data alone)...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Kesha Morant Williams
Through her stories and mine, my sister and I allow the outside world to see the ways in which we grapple with a critical health incident along her journey of living with lupus. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that is difficult to recognize and to diagnose. The ambiguous nature of the disease creates considerable confusion for the ill person as well as her support system. Using an illness narrative, I analyze a real life event linked to chronic illness, invisibility, living loss, liminality and family-and more specifically, to social support within the sibling relationship...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Susan L Gabel, Kathy Kotel
Using birth stories as our object of inquiry, this article examines the ways in which normative discourses about gender, disability and Down syndrome construct the birth stories of three mothers of children with Down syndrome. Their stories are composed of the mothers' recollections of the first hours after birth as a time when their infants are separated from them and their postpartum needs are ignored. Together, their stories illustrate socio-cultural tropes that position Down syndrome as a dangerous form of the "other" and mothers who give birth to children with Down syndrome as implicated in transgressing cultural norms...
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Christopher Kowalski, Ruchi Bhalla
The Disney movie Frozen is the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. In order to better understand this phenomenon and to hypothesize as to why the movie resonated so strongly with audiences, we have interpreted the movie using psychodynamic theory. We pay particular attention to the themes of puberty, adolescence and sibling relationships and discuss examples of ego defenses that are employed by the lead character in relation to these concepts.
June 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Sara Haslam
This article is about the relationship between reading, trauma and responsive literary caregiving in Britain during the First World War. Its analysis of two little-known documents describing the history of the War Library, begun by Helen Mary Gaskell in 1914, exposes a gap in the scholarship of war-time reading; generates a new narrative of "how," "when," and "why" books went to war; and foregrounds gender in its analysis of the historiography. The Library of Congress's T. W. Koch discovered Gaskell's ground-breaking work in 1917 and reported its successes to the American Library Association...
March 28, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Manali Karmakar, Avishek Parui
The essay examines Robin Cook's (1977) Coma and Priscille Sibley's (2013) The Promise of Stardust that dramatize the reified and disposable status of the brain-dead patients who are classified as nonpersons. The essay argues that the man-machine entanglement as depicted in the novels constructs a deterritorialized and entangled form of subjectivity that intervenes in the dominant biomedical understanding of personhood and agency that we notionally associate with a conscious mind. The essay concludes its arguments by discussing Alexander Beliaev's (1925) Professor Dowell's Head which depicts human subjectivity as an essentially embodied and distributive phenomenon and interrogates the Cartesian mind body dualism embedded in the dominant biomedical narratives...
March 22, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Regina Emily Robbins, Mark Gilbert
This study explores the reflective processes of Scottish artist, Norman Gilbert, as he created twenty-five drawings depicting his wife, Pat Gilbert, as she lay dying following an Alzheimer's-related stroke. Norman, ninety-one, had drawn Pat regularly over their sixty-five-year marriage. One week after Pat died, Norman was interviewed by a family friend to chronicle his reflections on the drawings. The drawings along with the interview transcript are analyzed qualitatively as a case study. Norman's Hospital Drawings of Pat transform what was initially a private experience into a shared comprehension of end of life and bereavement...
March 20, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
Camillo Lamanna
Narrative medicine explores the stories that patients tell; this paper, conversely, looks at some of the stories that patients are told. The paper starts by examining the 'story' told by the Shambaa people of Tanzania to explain the bubonic plague and contrasts this with the stories told by Ghanaian communities to explain lymphatic filariasis. By harnessing insights from memory studies, these stories' memorability is claimed to be due to their use mnemonic devices woven into stories. The paper suggests that stories can be unpatronising, informative, and appropriate vehicles for communicating medical information to all age groups across all cultures...
March 19, 2018: Journal of Medical Humanities
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