In this paper, we reflect upon shame and humiliation as threats to personal and professional integrity and moral agency within contemporary health care. A personal narrative, written by a nurse about a particular shift in a British National Health Service Accident and Emergency Department, is provided as a case study. This is critically reflected and commented upon in dialogue with insights into the nature of shame and humiliation. It is suggested that Accident and Emergency is a locus that is latently (...) prone to dynamics of shame and humiliation, a potential exacerbated within a culture subject to externally‐determined time targets that are enforced by a top‐down system of surveillance and management. The result is that nurses may lose their sense of professional competence and responsibility, moral agency, and integrity, to their own personal detriment, as well as to the detriment of patients with whom they work. Insofar as examining a small part of a whole may suggest insights into the operation and ethos of a very large system, this very particular case study narrative/reflection has some important implications and lessons for the wider organization and provision of health care in Britain and beyond. (shrink)
Medical Humanities the journal started life in 2000 as a special edition of the JME. However, the intellectual taproots of the medical humanities as a field of enquiry can be traced to two developments: calls made in the 1920s for the development of multidisciplinary perspectives on the sciences that shed historical light on their assumptions, methods and practices; refusals to assimilate all medical phenomena to a biomedical worldview. Medical humanities the term stems from a desire to situate the significance of (...) medicine as a product of culture. But despite growing usage over half a century the term defies a unifying encapsulation and continues to conjure up a multitude of discourse communities, including scholars working at the interfaces of health and humanities, arts and health, and medical education and bioethics. The field is intellectually capacious and polymorphous, forming and reforming around critical new research questions and teaching tasks spanning disciplines. (shrink)
Bioethics case reports generally treat aspects of moral fathomability, characterised and addressed in different ways. This paper reads the case as a textual model of scenarios and draws attention to its structure, narrative shape, linguistic register, and the effects of tone and temporality on reader expectation and responsiveness. Such textual elements of case composition reflect authorial purpose and influence the interpretation, including moral and ethical interpretation, of bioethics cases.
The first part of the book, dedicated to 'Rhetorical and Epistemological Aspects of Science Writing', addresses how scientific pursuits and methods feed into multi-level texts that generate responses within science, society, and culture.