Stories of Sickness

Stories of Sickness

3.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Our personalities and our identities are intimately bound up with the stories that we tell to organize and to make sense of our lives. To understand the human meaning of illness, we therefore must turn to the stories we tell about illness, suffering, and medical care. Stories of Sickness explores the many dimensions of what illness means to the sufferers and to those around them, drawing on depictions of illness in great works of literature and in non-fiction accounts. The exploration is primarily philosophical but incorporates approaches from literature and from the medical social sciences. When it was first published in 1987, Stories of Sickness helped to inaugurate a renewed interest in the importance of narrative studies in health care. For the Second Edition the text has been thoroughly revised and significantly expanded. Four almost entirely new chapters have been added on the nature, complexities, and rigor of narrative ethics and how it is carried out. There is also an additional chapter on maladaptive ways of being sick that deals in greater depth with disability issues.
Health care professionals, students of medicine and bioethics, and ordinary people coping with illness, no less than scholars in the health care humanities and social sciences, will find much of value in this volume.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 310 pages
  • 150 x 232 x 22mm | 439.98g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 3 figures
  • 0195151402
  • 9780195151404
  • 884,720

Review quote

Brody skilfully blends literature, philosophy, and medicine in this volume to illustrate the concept of sickness and its effect upon the person... This book contains remarkable contributions to our philosophical and clinical understanding of the relation between the healing process and the patient narrative. * Choice * A detailed, internally consistent philosophy of illness that can structure clinicians' observations and understanding of their patients' unique stories. * Anthony L. Suchman, Annals of Internal Medicine * From reviews of the first edition: [Brody] shows us how literary criticism and social sciences can be applied to the tales of illness that doctors and patients tell one another... This rational, compassionate book should serve as a splendid text for courses in the medical humanities as they are now taught in medical schools... A pleasure to read. * Gerald Weissmann, New York Times Book Review *
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About Howard Brody

Howard Brody received his M.D. and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Michigan State University and completed a residency in Family Practice at the University of Virginia. He has been on the faculty at Michigan State University since 1980, serving as Director of the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University from 1985 to 2000.
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Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Storytelling in Medicine ; 2. The Nature and Complexities of Narrative ; 3. Dimensions of Sickness ; 4. Sickness, Life Stories, and Self-Respect ; 5. Types of Stories about Sickness ; 6. Sick Roles: Practices and Life Plans ; 7. How Sickness Alters Experience ; 8. Sickness and Social Relations ; 9. Stories of Life with Disability ; 10. Maladaptive Ways of Being Sick ; 11. What is Narrative Ethics ; 12. How Does One Do Narrative Ethics ; 13. Rigor in Narrative Judgements ; 14. Ethics and the Life-Span Narrative ; 15. Conclusion: The Patient-Health Professional Relationship as a Narrative
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.16 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 17% (1)
2 17% (1)
1 17% (1)
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