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Series and Journals
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Health, Illness and Disease.

TWOHIG, Peter L. and Vera KALITZKUS (Eds.)
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2004, VIII, 195 pp.
Pb: 978-90-420-1973-7 / 90-420-1973-5
€ 40 / US$ 56

At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries

The study of health care brings one into contact with many disciplines and perspectives, including those of the provider and the patient. There are also multiple academic lenses through which one can view health, illness and disease. This book brings together scholars from around the world who are interested in developing new conversations intended to situate health in broader social and cultural contexts. This book is the outcome of the second global conference on “Making Sense of: Health, Illness and Disease,” held at St Hilda's College, Oxford, in July 2003. The selected papers pursue a range of topics and incorporate perspectives from the humanities, social sciences and clinical sciences.
This volume will be of interest to researchers and health care practitioners who wish to gain insight into other ways of understanding health, illness and disease.

Vera KALITZKUS and Peter L. TWOHIG: Introduction
Part 1 Philosophical Approaches to Health, Illness and Disease
Michael WEINGARTEN: The Sanctity of Life or the Sanctification of Life? A Critical Reassessment of Jewish Medical Ethics
Richard A. INGRAM: Beyond the Body Beautiful: The Uses and Dangers of Nietzsche’s Rethinking of Health and Illness
James A. MARCUM: Mechanized Bodies or Embodied Persons? Alternative Models of the Patient’s Body in Modern Medicine
Part 2 Representations of Health, Illness, and Disease: Personal, Public and Institutional Perspectives
Nicola GOC: Mothers and Madness: The Media Representation of Postpartum Psychosis
Brett SMITH and Andrew C. SPARKES: Becoming Disabled through Sport: Narrative Types, Metaphors and the Reconstruction of Selves
Bernie WARREN: Bring Me Sunshine: The Effects of Clown-Doctors on the Mood and Attitudes of Healthcare Staff
Part 3 Reframing Clinical Encounters: Narrative, Literature and Video
Jarmila MILDORF: Narrativising the Body: Fragmentation and Unification in Jed Mercurio’s Bodies
Betty BEDNARSKI: The Possibilities of Story: Jacques Ferron’s “Little William” and the Teaching of Obstetrics
Karen CHRISTOPHER and Gregory MAKOUL: Patient Narrative Videos: Learning from the Illness Experience
Ottomar BAHRS, Susanne HEIM, Vera KALITZKUS, Peter F. MATTHIESSEN, Hermann MÜLLER: Salutogenesis in General Practice: How to use the Potential of Doctor-Patient Communication to Promote Health
Part 4 Making Sense of the Art of Dying
Jon E. CUTLER: Ars Moriendi: The Lost Art of Dying
Harold SCHWEIZER: The Art of Dying: Hodler’s Cycle of Paintings of Valentine Godé-Darel

Peter L. Twohig and Vera Kalizkus co-edited Making Sense of Health, Illness and Disease (Rodopi, 2004), a companion volume to this collection.
Dr Twohig is Canada Research Chair, Saint Mary's University (Halifax, NS, Canada) where he specializes in studies of health and medicine. His research explores changing ideas of professional identity and clinical practice, focusing recently on the rise of evidence-based medicine. He has published two other books and his recent work has been published in Family Medicine, American Journal of Bioethics, British Medical Journal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Dr Kalitzkus is a medical anthropologist. Her fields of interest are cultural conceptions of body and self; anthropology of death; biomedicine and doctor-patient-communication.She published a study on organtransplantation in Germany (“Leben durch den Tod. Die zwei Seiten der Organtransplantation in Deutschland. Eine medizinethnologische Studie. Frankfurt/New York: Campus).


Michael Weingarten explores Jewish medical ethics and draws our attention to the religious and cultural aspects of ethical views. Such a view destabilizes ethical certainties and demands some consideration of differing ethical viewpoints.

Richard A. Ingram demonstrates how Nietzche’s personal experience and subjective views shape his philosophy and his writing. Specifically, Ingram analyses the way Nietzsche’s thinking has been shaped by his state of health.

James A. Marcum explores body metaphors and their implications for the patient-provider encounters in the biomedical setting.

Nicola Goc explores how the mass media shapes dominant conceptualizations of mental health and mental illness through her exploration of post-partum psychosis.

Brett Smith and Andrew Sparkes pursue the complex interplay between narratives of sport and disability. Their analysis reveals how metaphors of body, health and illness may impede the articulation of new metaphors.

Bernie Warren describes how the artistry of clown doctors in the clinical setting can affect both the mood and attitude of hospital staff as well as lighten the burden of illness for those in hospital.

In her essay, Jarmila Mildorf highlights how physicians have embraced the possibility of story through their creation of literary texts and through their writing, how they create the possibility of greater understanding between physicians and patients.

In her close reading of Jacques Ferron’s short story “Le petit William,” Betty Bednarski reveals much about explores the interaction between midwives and physicians, between health care providers and their patients and, importantly, about social order in 20th century Quebec, Canada.

Karen Christopher and Gregory Makoul offer insight the creation of illness narratives through videos created by persons experiencing illness and disease. Christopher and Makoul highlight both the artistic qualities of these videos as well as their pedagogical value.

The contribution from Ottomar Bahrs and colleagues explores two interdisciplinary quality circles, which use video documentation of clinical encounters to understand and improve patient-doctor communication. In this way, the quality circles seek to reframe clinical encounters in terms of the resiliency of patients, rather than focusing exclusively on disease processes and outcomes.

In his essay, Jon Cutler provides a very personal account of his encounter with his father’s impending death and unpacks a number of issues concerning the art of dying.
In his elegant essay on the depiction of Valentine Godé-Darel’s struggle with ovarian cancer,

Harold Schweizer highlights how the artistry of Ferdinand Hodler and its unflinching depiction of suffering invites us to experience it at some level.

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