Can Death Cafés Resuscitate Morale in Hospitals?

Article Summary by Rachel Hammer Death Cafés are non-profit social franchises that arise spontaneously in communities to serve as informal forums for discussing death. There is a great need within the medical community for the kind of conversation that Death Cafés foster: open, unstructured, spontaneous, genuine and interdisciplinary dialogue. This paper describes a model for […]

Read More…

On the Need for an Ecologically Dimensioned Medical Humanities

Article Summary by Jonathan Coope Healthcare often tends to be compartmentalized as something quite separate from issues of ecology and ecological sustainability. Yet health impacts of global warming and other environmental problems alert us to the fact that health and the fate of the biosphere are inextricably related and always have been. Yet western modernity, […]

Read More…

‘Look Under the Sheets!’ Fighting with the Senses in Relation to Defecation and Bodily Care in Hospitals and Care Institutions

Article Summary by Sjaak van der Geest and Shahaduz Zaman Studies of hospital care pay little attention to unpleasant experiences of nurses and patients with regard to dirt and defecation. Disgust and embarrassment about dirt complicate the work of nurses and the well-being of patients. In this article we focus on conditions of hospital care […]

Read More…

‘The Internet Both Reassures and Terrifies’: Exploring the More-Than-Human Worlds of Health Information Using the Story Completion Method

Article Summary by Deborah Lupton This article reports the findings of a study using an innovative approach to understanding people’s beliefs and practices: the story completion method. This method asks people to complete story ‘stems’, writing about a fictional character. The completed narratives are then analysed for the shared cultural norms and discourses they revealed. […]

Read More…

The Space Between Words: On the Description of Parkinson’s Disease in Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Corrections’

Article Summary by Ben Rutter and Rodney Hermeston Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections (2001) is one of the most prominent novels to feature a character with Parkinson’s Disease. In this paper we look at the language used by Franzen to capture Parkinson’s Disease and to describe the protagonist Alfred Lambert. We use linguistic analysis to consider […]

Read More…

‘This Place Is Not for Children Like Her’: Disability, Ambiguous Belonging and the Claiming of Disadvantage in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Article Summary by Michelle Botha and Brian Watermeyer This paper explores ideas about disability, identity and belonging in the context of post-apartheid South Africa. The first author (MB) reflects on the intersection of disability, gender, race and language in her experience. The paper revolves around MB’s recollection of her first year of primary school which […]

Read More…

Eggs, Sugar, Grated Bones: Colour-Based Food Preferences in Autism, Eating Disorders, and Beyond

Article Summary by Mattias Strand This article explores colour-based food preferences and selective eating, with a focus on autism spectrum disorder and so-called avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)—an eating disorder characterized by restrictive eating in the absence of body image concerns. As many parents can testify, it is immensely common for children to display patterns […]

Read More…

What is the Cultural Value of Dying in an Era of Assisted Dying?

Article Summary by Naomi Richards and Marian Krawczyk  Assisted dying—the ability to be assisted by a medical professional to end your life at a time of your choosing – is now available in a number of jurisdictions around the world, for those who satisfy the criteria. This paper raises the question of whether dying will […]

Read More…

Bringing Narratives from Physicians, Patients and Caregivers Together: A Scoping Review of Published Research

Article Summary by Tracy Moniz Article by Tracy Moniz, John Costella, Maryam Golafshani, Chris Watling and Lorelei Lingard What can we learn from research that compares the stories that physicians, patients, and family caregivers write about their illness and care experiences? Our literature review sought to answer this question in hopes that a better understanding […]

Read More…

Healthcare Providers’ Engagement with Eating Disorder Recovery Narratives: Opening to Complexity and Diversity

Article Summary by Andrea LaMarre and Carla Rice There is very little training around eating disorders across different areas and levels of healthcare. It is even less common to see training that shares the perspectives of people with lived experiences and their supporters with healthcare providers and healthcare provider trainees (HCPs). In this study, we […]

Read More…