Optimal Relief for Pain at the End of Life: A Caregiver’s Tale

In his article for our June special issue, “Pain and its Paradoxes”, David B. Morris offers a heartfelt account of his experience occupying a “third-person position” as an end-of-life caregiver to his late wife, Ruth C. Morris, and a reflection on the role of palliative pain-relief for the dying. Remarking on how biomedicine is often […]

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Pain as Performance: Re-Virginisation in Turkey

In an article for our June special issue “Pain and its Paradoxes”, “Pain as Performance: Re-Virginisation in Turkey,” Hande Güzel turns to an analysis of acute pain related to re-virginisation, a surgical process of hymenoplasty that women in Turkey undertake to satisfy social expectations regarding virginity upon marriage. These expectations lead to the performance of what […]

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Adaptive Frameworks of Chronic Pain: Daily Remakings of Pain and Care at a Somali Refugee Women’s Health Centre

In her article from our June special issue, “Pain and its Paradoxes”, Kari Campeau investigates how Somali women living in the US understand their experience of chronic pain, its treatment and their strategies for coping with that pain in her study, “Adaptive Frameworks of Chronic Pain: Daily Remakings of Pain and Care at a Somali […]

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Shifting Understandings of Labour Pain in Canadian Medical History

Here we continue showcasing articles from our June special issue on “Pain and its Paradoxes”. Beginning with the observation that the pain associated with childbirth is a universal biological reality, Whitney Wood, in her article “Shifting Understandings of Labour Pain in Canadian Medical History,” explores how such pain is nevertheless understood in different ways by […]

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Before Narrative: Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain

In “Before Narrative: Episodic Reading and Representations of Chronic Pain,” an article in our June special issue on “Pain and its Paradoxes”, Sara Wasson counterpoises fragmentary, incomplete and episodic forms of writing to teleogenetic narratives that make the experience of chronic pain coherent and, in doing so, risk marginalising the voices of those whose experience does […]

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June Special Issues: Pain and its Paradoxes

We are pleased to announce the June Special Issue of BMJ Medical Humanities on “Pain and its Paradoxes,” guest edited by Daniel Goldberg, PhD, Faculty at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado. This incredibly diverse issue looks carefully at the concept of pain cross-culturally and from a variety of disciplinary lenses. MH […]

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Catherine Oakley on Cultural Materialism in the Medical Humanities

Catherine Oakley’s article ‘Towards Cultural Materialism in the Medical Humanities: the Case of Blood Rejuvenation’ is available through open access in the current issue of Medical Humanities.  Oakley takes the shifting cultural, symbolic and scientific meanings of blood as her starting point, a shift that is, she argues, often understood as a consequence of changes to […]

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Daniel Goldberg on Shame, Stigma and Medicine

The current issue of Medical Humanities is guest-edited by Luna Dolezal and Barry Lyons and focuses on ‘Shame, Stigma and Medicine’.   Daniel S. Goldberg’s article, ‘Pain, objectivity and history: understanding pain stigma,’ is our editor’s choice in this issue, and so is free for everyone to access. In the article, Goldberg argues that sufferers […]

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Deborah Bowman on Shame, Stigma and Medicine

The current issue of Medical Humanities is guest-edited by Luna Dolezal and Barry Lyons and focuses on ‘Shame, Stigma and Medicine’. Deborah Bowman turns to drama to ask how theatre is well-placed to explore the impact of shame in the clinical setting in her paper, ‘Vulnerability, Survival and Shame in Nina Rainer’s Tiger Country.’ Drawn […]

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