INTD Narrative Medicine

This course offers a narrative approach to issues in bioethics. It focuses on story (case studies, fiction, biographies) as starting points for moral interpretation in bioethics, with special attention to issues in health care. The course will help students recognize and evaluate conflicting perspectives about how ethical dilemmas should be addressed. Narrative bioethics focuses on the main principles used to address complex moral issues in health care, and then it looks at how much information is left out of that top-down approach.  Besides acquiring medical skills and a set of professional standards, health care providers need to learn how to read a patient, how to listen to and interpret her stories, how to appreciate his social and economic background, how to recognize differences in point of view—in other words, to be skilled in interpreting narratives. Being able to understand a patient's culture and perspective often helps health care providers be better caregivers. The class will examine how narrative, film and theater can give depth and breadth to the understanding of a case, usually generating new insights about the nature of the problems and suggesting solutions that might otherwise not be considered.

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