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Medical Humanities

Ricardo A Ayala
For over 20 years, the notion of 'management of care' has been foregrounded as key in the jurisdiction of the nursing profession, with the aim of detaching itself from the wider medical umbrella. A number of voices have advocated such centrality. These include juridical, academic and occupational perspectives. Critical stances, although peripheral, have also been voiced. These have been received, at best, with a 'polite silence' in mainstream circles.By looking at the arguments surrounding the 'management of care' circulated in these two decades, this article reports the various forms of discursive practice that participate in the political process of autonomy building...
July 16, 2018: Medical Humanities
Bliss Cavanagh, Kirsti Haracz, Miranda Lawry, Carole James
Self-management strategies have been identified as having a key role in supporting mental health and preventing mental illness. Evidence suggests that spending time in nature, experiencing or viewing artwork and accessing sensory rooms all support self-management and positive mental health among varied clinical populations. This evidence informed the design of the sensory-art space (SAS), an artistically designed multisensory environment, which drew on themes and images of nature.The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceived benefits of the SAS among members of a university community...
July 16, 2018: Medical Humanities
Evan V Goldstein
Without question, the American medical craft-the physicians, clinicians and healthcare organisations that comprise the American healthcare sector-provides immense value to patients and contributes expertise on matters relevant to the public's health. However, several conspicuous realities about healthcare in America should give the reader pause. Most problematic are the comparative measures of access to care, quality of care, life expectancy, racial health disparity and cost, all of which demonstrate how many Americans experience relatively lower value public health than other Western liberal democratic states...
July 14, 2018: Medical Humanities
Yvette Koepke
As Frankenstein's 200th anniversary nears, its use as a shorthand for ethical critique only increases. This article argues, though, that its lessons inhere in its unique structure, which enacts an interpretive process that models the multiplicity and uncertainty constitutive of ethical decision-making. Frankenstein deliberately functions as a modern myth, rewriting classical and Christian mythology to challenge the straightforward moral lessons often ascribed to the text. Complex portrayals of the creature and of Victor Frankenstein in the context of contemporary science make it impossible to read Victor as villain, victim or hero, or to take a consequentialist or nature-based stance in which the outcome of his research dictates its wrongness...
July 10, 2018: Medical Humanities
Adam S Komorowski, Sang Ik Song
Written by Richard Wiseman, sergeant-surgeon to King Charles II of England, 'A Treatise on the King's-Evil' within his magnum opus Severall Chirurgicall Treatises (1676), acts as a proto-case series which explores the treatment and cure of 91 patients with the King's-Evil. Working within the confines of the English monarch's ability to cure the disease with their miraculous (or thaumaturgic) touch, Wiseman simultaneously elevates and extends the potential to heal to biomedicine. Wiseman's work on the King's-Evil provides an interesting window through which the political expediency of the monarch's thaumaturgic touch may be explored...
July 3, 2018: Medical Humanities
Victoria Jane Palmer, Wayne Weavell, Rosemary Callander, Donella Piper, Lauralie Richard, Lynne Maher, Hilary Boyd, Helen Herrman, John Furler, Jane Gunn, Rick Iedema, Glenn Robert
Healthcare systems redesign and service improvement approaches are adopting participatory tools, techniques and mindsets. Participatory methods increasingly used in healthcare improvement coalesce around the concept of coproduction, and related practices of cocreation, codesign and coinnovation. These participatory methods have become the new Zeitgeist-the spirit of our times in quality improvement. The rationale for this new spirit of participation relates to voice and engagement (those with lived experience should be engaged in processes of development, redesign and improvements), empowerment (engagement in codesign and coproduction has positive individual and societal benefits) and advancement (quality of life and other health outcomes and experiences of services for everyone involved should improve as a result)...
June 28, 2018: Medical Humanities
Iara Meili, Eva Heim, Andreas Maercker
The metaphorical concepts resilience and post-traumatic growth (PTG) reflect the contemporary Western understanding of overcoming highly challenging life events. However, it is known that across different cultures, a broad range of metaphorical idioms for describing adaptive responses to severe adversity exists. This study aimed to explore and contrast two distinct cultural groups' culturally shared metaphors for overcoming severe adversities. Fieldwork was conducted in two rural communities: an indigenous Brazilian community that has experienced severe collective adversity and a mountain village in Switzerland that has survived a natural disaster...
June 28, 2018: Medical Humanities
Lindsay-Ann Coyle, Sarah Atkinson
The paper contributes to contemporary understandings of vulnerability by expanding their scope with an understanding of vulnerability as generated through institutionalised practices. The argument draws on experiential accounts of navigating the practices of diagnosis by people living with multiple conditions of ill-health and disability. Vulnerability as a concept is used widely across different domains and conveys a multitude of meanings. Contemporary biomedicine, and its associated health systems and services, understands vulnerability mostly as inherent to particular physical and mental bodily conditions that put people at risk of ill-health or emotionally fragility...
June 27, 2018: Medical Humanities
Jay Baruch, Stacey Springs
The opioid crisis poses challenges to patients who come to the emergency department (ED) in pain and the clinicians who have a duty to offer relief. In search of help, patients often find suspicion. But clinicians have reasons to be concerned about feeding addiction and its lethal consequences. This article discusses the narrative challenges facing many clinicians in the ED tasked with caring for complex patients in pain. It will discuss the many ways our brains are influenced by story, and how this susceptibility is often beyond our grasp...
June 26, 2018: Medical Humanities
Iliya Gutin
Biomedical research has a long and complicated history as a tool of oppression, exemplary of the racial science used to legitimise and maintain racial hierarchies in the USA and abroad. While the explicit racism and racial inferiority supported by this research has dissipated and modern methods of inquiry have increased in sophistication and rigor, contemporary biomedical research continues to essentialise race by distilling racial differences and disparities in health to an underlying, biogenetic source. Focusing on the persistence of essentialism in an era of genomic medicine, this paper examines the deep social origins and social implications of the essentialist viewpoint in biomedicine and how it relates to the broader construction of social and scientific knowledge...
June 25, 2018: Medical Humanities
Lisa J Mullen
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), George Orwell's political satire on state surveillance and mind control, was written between 1946 and 1948, at a time when new thinking in forensic psychiatry coincided with scientific breakthroughs in neurology to bring questions of criminality, psychotherapy and mental health to the forefront of the popular imagination. This paper examines how Nineteen Eighty-Four inverts psychiatric paradigms in order to diagnose what Orwell sees as the madness of totalitarian regimes. It then goes on to place the novel's dystopian vision of total surveillance and mind control in the context of the neurological research and brain scanning techniques of the mid-20th century...
June 25, 2018: Medical Humanities
Tina Sideris
This paper tells the story of one man's experience of terrifying hallucinations and nightmares in an intensive care unit (ICU), drawing attention to the reality that intensive care treatment induces emotional suffering severe enough to be identified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A body of international research, confirmed by South African studies, links life-saving critical care to symptoms which qualify for secondary psychiatric diagnosis including of post-traumatic stress. Risk factors include pre-ICU comorbid psychopathology...
June 20, 2018: Medical Humanities
Deborah Padfield, Helen Omand, Elena Semino, Amanda C de C Williams, Joanna M Zakrzewska
The challenge for those treating or witnessing pain is to find a way of crossing the chasm of meaning between them and the person living with pain. This paper proposes that images can strengthen agency in the person with pain, particularly but not only in the clinical setting, and can create a shared space within which to negotiate meaning. It draws on multidisciplinary analyses of unique material resulting from two fine art/medical collaborations in London, UK, in which the invisible experience of pain was made visible in the form of co-created photographic images, which were then made available to other patients as a resource to use in specialist consultations...
June 12, 2018: Medical Humanities
Marco Cilione, Silvia Marinozzi, Valentina Gazzaniga
Anatomical ex-votos of feet have always been interpreted as representing the unhealthy part of the body for which patients were asking healing. However, according to the archaeological data and literary sources, another interpretation is also possible: the purpose of this article is to focus on the strong relationship between feet and fertility in the ancient world by cross-referencing the available archaeological evidence with the scientific data relating to this topic. That shed light on an important aspect of the Healing Temples in Greek and Roman medicine...
June 9, 2018: Medical Humanities
Anna Obergfell Kirkman, Jane A Hartsock, Alexia M Torke
Adolescents who face life-limiting illness have unique developmental features and strong personal preferences around end of life (EOL) care. Understanding and documenting those preferences can be enhanced by practising narrative medicine. This paper aims to identify a new form of narrative, the Adolescent End of Life Narrative, and recognise four central themes. The Adolescent EOL Narrative can be observed in young adult fiction, The Fault in Our Stars , which elucidates the notion that terminally ill adolescents have authentic preferences about their life and death...
May 26, 2018: Medical Humanities
Rebecca C Beirne
Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of televisual protagonist and major secondary characters specifically identified within the text as having a diagnosed mental illness. This is a significant development in the context of characters with a mental illness on television, who were previously usually minor and heavily stigmatised. A key trend with these new protagonists and major characters is the attribution of special talents or powers associated with mental health conditions. This paper analyses the discursive construction of this trope in five recent television series: Sherlock (UK, BBC, 2010-), Homeland (USA, Showtime, 2011-), Perception (USA, TNT, 2012-2015), Hannibal (USA, NBC, 2013-2015) and Black Box (USA, ABC, 2014)...
May 26, 2018: Medical Humanities
Victoria Bates
This article explores the role of senses in the construction and experience of place, focusing on patients' experiences of hospital care. It compares two cancer narratives for their insights into the heterogeneous ways that hospital environments are made into therapeutic landscapes, arguing that they are a product of dynamic processes rather than something that is simply built. The article draws on a relational model of space and place, alongside literary analysis, to explore the making of un/healthy environments in embodied, affective and sensory terms...
May 2, 2018: Medical Humanities
Emily T Troscianko
Compared with self-help bibliotherapy, little is known about the efficacy of creative bibliotherapy or the mechanisms of its possible efficacy for eating disorders or any other mental health condition. It is clear, however, that fiction is widely used informally as a therapeutic or antitherapeutic tool and that it has considerable potential in both directions, with a possibly significant distinction between the effects of reading fiction about eating disorders (which may-contrary to theoretical predictions-be broadly negative in effect) or one's preferred genre of other fiction (which may be broadly positive)...
April 21, 2018: Medical Humanities
Daniel S Goldberg
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2018: Medical Humanities
Brandy Schillace
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2018: Medical Humanities
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