Medical Humanities

Evans M, Greaves D. Exploring the medical humanities. British Medical Journal 1999; 319:1216. : "The perspective of the practitioner is crucial in framing explanations for the problems which medicine exists to address—patients' experience of illness, disability, and suffering. The medical humanities explore how the humanities, traditionally concerned with recording and exploring human experience, engage with specific experiences of patients, doctors, health, illness, and suffering. An integrated conception of the medical humanities carries this engagement through to the perennially important question: What is medicine for? It affirms medicine's unique character as a form of human self exploration, recognising that in medicine our material and our experiential natures are irreducibly fused; our bodily tissues and our personal values unite in constituting those experiences of illness and suffering which send people to their doctors. Medicine's objects—its patients—are also self reflecting subjects who, together with the doctor, actively form and transform the clinical encounter, the central arena of medicine.."


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