What is Compassion?

Article Summary by Sarah Chaney Today, this trait is thought to be central to nursing. Policymakers, healthcare staff and politicians alike have debated the topic over the past decade. They have asked whether compassion can be taught or is caring an inborn trait. How might one measure or test someone’s ‘emotional intelligence’? And is compassion […]

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Delirium in Hospital: Violence, Vulnerability and Humanity

Article Summary by Victoria Hume In the UK, hospitalisations from Covid have been increasing steadily since the summer. On 18 November, 923 covid patients were mechanically ventilated in hospital – this represents about a quarter of all mechanically ventilated patients.1 The Nuffield Trust tells us that covid patients typically stay longer in ICU than surgical […]

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December Special Issue Podcast: Transplantation and its Imaginaries

Podcast by Brandy Schillace with Donna McCormack and Magrit Shildrick The Transplantation and its Imaginaries special issue proposes new understandings of the limits and possible extensions of organ and tissue transplantation that encompass cutting edge interdisciplinary research around biomedicine, philosophy, literature, film and transplantation studies. In our own era, the parameters of human embodiment are […]

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Ka Mura Ka Muri: Understandings of Organ Donation and Transplantation in Aotearoa New Zealand

Article Summary by Rhoda Shaw and Robert Webb This article draws on research findings from a series of in-depth interviews with Māori (the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) and Pākehā (European settler New Zealanders), concerning their views on organ donation and transplantation. Our findings show both differences and similarities between Māori and Pākehā understandings […]

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The Illness-Disease Dichotomy and the Biological-Clinical Splitting of Medicine

Article Summary by Luigi Tesio and Marco Buzzoni Suffering from an “illness without a disease” is a common condition. The person is suffering, but no abnormalities can be found in the body. This is the case for chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, many chronic pain syndromes, and most psychiatric disturbances. The article replies to the debate between […]

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The Rationales for and Challenges with Employing Arts-based Health Services Research (ABHSR): A Qualitative Systematic Review of Primary Studies

Article Summary by Umair Majid We conducted a systematic review of 42 studies to identify the rationales for using arts-based research in health care. We found four rationales: (1) capture aspects of a topic that may be overlooked or ignored by other methods, (2) allow participants to reflect on their own experiences, (3) generate valuable […]

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A Mirror in Fiction: Drawing Parallelisms Between Camus’s La Peste and COVID-19

Article Summary by César Pérez Romero Fiction is a particular mirror of reality. It does not look to merely reflect it: it tries to enhance it in order to build art from it. Nowadays, when the entire world faces an unprecedented public health crisis (COVID-19), taking a look at fiction about epidemics constitutes a highly […]

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Representing Young Men’s Experience of Anorexia Nervosa A French-Language Case Study

Article Summary by Katie Jones This article analyses two young adult (YA) novels about young men’s experience of anorexia nervosa (AN), within the dual contexts of medical humanities research into literary depictions of illness, and the broader field of young adult literature about AN. While emphasising the importance of diverse literary narratives in order to […]

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“From Disaster, Miracles are Wrought”: A Narrative Analysis of UK Media Depictions of Remote GP Consulting in the Covid-19 Pandemic Using Burke’s Pentad

Article Summary by Gilly Mroz This study used narrative analysis (the study of stories and storytelling) to explore how the mainstream media reacted to the shift from face-to-face to remote medical consultations during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. We used a conceptual framework developed some years ago by the literary theorist Kenneth Burke, which […]

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Vivisection Through the Eyes of Wilkie Collins, H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy

Article Summary by Jill Felicity Durey Before social media, novelists could help or hinder medical progress for humans and animals, as often their works were serialised. This article discusses the strong influence of Wilkie Collins, H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy on public acceptance or rejection of the medical use of vivisection. Collins, in the nineteenth […]

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