Sea of Bodies a Medical Discourse of the Refugee Crisis in Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story

Article Summary by Lava Asaad and Matthew Spencer In the memoir Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story, Pietro Bartolo (2018) relates visceral descriptions of illness, injury, and death endured by refugees on their journey of escape to the shores of Lampedusa in the Mediterranean. The medical gaze of the doctor/author further complicates the political and […]

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Writing the Worlds of Genomic Medicine: Experiences of Using Participatory-Writing to Understand Life with Rare Conditions

Article Summary by Richard Gorman and Bobbie Farsides Our article, ‘Writing the Worlds of Genomic Medicine: Experiences of Using Participatory-Writing to Understand Life with Rare Conditions’ is part of our work on the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Ethical Preparedness in Genomic Medicine’ research project at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. We’ve been working with a group […]

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the Pathologization and Medicalization of Ordinary Experiences

Article Summary by Sahanika Ratnayake In the wake of prolonged grief disorder entering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders, debates over the pathologizing and medicalizing of ordinary experiences—that is, presenting what we might think of as typical experiences such as grief as disorders requiring specialised treatment—have reignited. Psychiatry of course has a long history […]

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Talking it Better: Conversations and Normative Complexity in Healthcare Improvement

Article Summary by Alan Cribb No doubt everyone would agree that conversations are valuable. Amongst other things they are one of the ways we can attend to, appreciate and learn from one another. This, of course, is relevant to practical activities like healthcare improvement. Healthcare improvement typically involves technical or formally specified processes working alongside […]

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The Dying Patient: Taboo, Controversy and Missing Terms of Reference for Designers—An Architectural Perspective

Article Summary by Annie Bellamy Our societies have become more and more removed from the realities of growing old and dying. The language surrounding death, dying and who the ‘patient’ really is has become clouded and confusing, which has only been made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Language and key terms of […]

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Health, Well-being, and Material-Ideal Hybrid Spaces in Yeats’s Writing

Article Summary by Tudor Balinisteanu The medical humanities research carried out in our Neuroaesthetics Lab at University of Suceava asks whether art that engenders awareness of one’s embodied life is healthier than art that fosters statuary ideals. We argue that sacrificing mindfulness of one’s own embodied life in favour of spiritual or idealistic purpose can […]

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Pine Fresh: The Cultural and Medical Context of Pine Scent in Relation to Health—From the Forest to the Home

Article Summary by Clare Hickman This article uses a sensory approach to trace the attachment of concepts of health in relation to the scent of pine trees, and how that has been perceived as signaling particular health properties in different spaces—namely the forest, the tuberculosis sanatoria and the home—over the last two centuries. By tracing […]

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From Blocked Flows to Suppressed Emotions: The Life of a Trope

Article Summary by Stewart Justman This article looks into the traditional notion that disease results from excesses pent up in the body and that treatment consists of getting rid of them.  Interested readers will discover variants of this topos in surprising places—for example, in the 18th-century belief that smallpox resident in the body could be […]

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Food hygiene, Public Health Education and Citizenship in Britain, 1948–1967

Article Summary by Alex Mold Anyone who has ever suffered from a bout of food poisoning can attest to the importance of good food hygiene. Encouraging people to follow simple rules, such as washing hands before preparing or eating food, has long been a task for public health educators. In this article I examine public […]

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The Mediated Discourse and Voice of Euthanasia: the Israeli Media as a Case Study

Article Summary by Baruch Shomron Euthanasia refers to the intentional ending of a person’s life with the intent of alleviating great pain or suffering. As such, euthanasia is an important social and quality of life issue. However, it is highly controversial and is continuously debated around the world. Indeed, as a value-laden issue, its legitimacy […]

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