Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Ahlzén, Rolf
Alternative names
Publications (9 of 9) Show all publications
Ahlzén, R. (2019). Narrativity and medicine: Some critical reflections. Philosophy Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 14, Article ID 9.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Narrativity and medicine: Some critical reflections
2019 (English)In: Philosophy Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, ISSN 1747-5341, E-ISSN 1747-5341, Vol. 14, article id 9Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last three decades there has been a wave of interest in narrative and narrativity in the humanistic and the social sciences. This narrative turn has spilled over to medicine, where narrative medicine has gained a considerable influence.However, there have also appeared second thoughts on the role of narratives in our lives, as well as on what narratives may mean in relation to clinical medicine.This article presents some influential voices in this debate and scrutinizes the assumptions of narrative medicine in the light of these. It is concluded that there are sound reasons to tread this path with some caution and avoid the too far reaching ambitions on behalf of narrativity in relation to clinical medicine. However, narrative medicine should still be seen as a promising attempt within the broader scope of medical humanities to emphasize the importance of human subjectivity in clinical medicine.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2019
Keywords
Narrativity, Narrative, Narrative medicine, Empathy, Clinical encounter
National Category
Other Social Sciences History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74210 (URN)10.1186/s13010-019-0078-3 (DOI)000475709200001 ()31307498 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2019-08-06 Created: 2019-08-06 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved
Ahlzen, R. (2011). Illness as unhomelike being-in-the-world?: Phenomenology and medical practice. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 14(3), 323-331
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Illness as unhomelike being-in-the-world?: Phenomenology and medical practice
2011 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 323-331Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scientific medicine has been successful by ways of an ever more detailed understanding and mastering of bodily functions and dysfunctions. Biomedical research promises new triumphs, but discontent with medical practice is all around. Since several decades this has been acknowledged and discussed. The philosophical traditions of phenomenology and hermeneutics have been proposed as promising ways to approach medical practice, by ways of a richer understanding of the meaning structures of health and illness. In 2000, Swedish philosopher Fredrik Svenaeus published a book where he proposes that the phenomenological hermeneutics of Martin Heidegger and also the reflections on health and illness of Hans-Georg Gadamer offer important ways to approach the nature of medicine. In particular, Svenaeus argues that the goal of medicine is to promote and restore health, and that health ought to be seen as "homelike being-in-the-world". Unhealth, illness, consequently should be understood as a situation where a person's "being-in-the-world" in characterized by that lack of the rhythm, balance and "tune" of everyday living that characterizes not "being at home". In this article, Svenaeus' position is briefly outlined. Questions are raised whether "unhomelikeness" is to be seen as a metaphor, and, if so, if it is a fruitful such. Furthermore, I discuss whether or not a discourse on health and illness in these terms may be misleading in a situation where the ontological presuppositions of Heidegger are lost out of sight and the popular understanding of health psychology predominates. I also approach the question whether Svenaeus' assumptions may inadvertently lead us to an unjustifiably broad understanding of the tasks of medicine. It is finally concluded that Svenaeus phenomenological and hermeneutical approach is both interesting and promising. There are, however, several questions that ought to be pursued further, and the step from philosophical analysis to everyday clinical discourse may be unexpectedly long and risky.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2011
Keywords
Health, Illness, Phenomenology, Metaphor, Understanding, Home, Limits of medicine
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified Medical Ethics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-40613 (URN)10.1007/s11019-011-9311-6 (DOI)000292274000013 ()21287279 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-02-22 Created: 2016-02-22 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R., Evans, M., Louhiala, P. & Puustinen, R. (Eds.). (2010). Medical Humanities Companion: Volume two: Diagnosis. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Medical Humanities Companion: Volume two: Diagnosis
2010 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

When a person falls ill, their experience changes - sometimes in a very minor and transient way, sometimes in a decisive and lasting one. ‘Diagnosis’ is often seen as the process of scientifically and objectively identifying the causes of this subjective experience, but is the process and meaning of ‘diagnosis’ really as simple as this implies?

As this volume of The Medical Humanities Companion argues, diagnoses are an answer to complex human needs that spring from being ill, and are in turn a complex, culturally mediated interaction between individuals, scientific discoveries, social negotiation and historical change. This volume makes visible the complexities and ambiguities involved in giving and receiving diagnoses, and how they shape and are shaped by views on what is real and acceptable, and how people relate to the phenomena of illness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing, 2010. p. 174
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-11460 (URN)9781846194641 (ISBN)
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R. (2010). Why should physicians read?: Understanding clinical judgement and its relation to literary experience. (Doctoral dissertation). University of Durham
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why should physicians read?: Understanding clinical judgement and its relation to literary experience
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Is literary experience of any practical relevance to the clinician? This is the overall question addressed by this investigation, which starts by tracing the historical roots of scientific medicine. These are found to be intimately linked to a form of rationality associated with the scientific revolution of the 17th century and with “modernity”. Medical practice, however, is dependent also on another form of rationality associated with what Stephen Toulmin calls “the epistemology of the biographical”. The very core of clinical medicine is shown to be the clinical encounter, an interpretive meeting where the illness experience is at the centre of attention. The physician can reach the goals of medicine only by developing clinical judgement. Clinical judgement is subjected to close analysis and is assumed to be intimately connected to the form of knowledge Aristotle called phronesis.

In order to explore how literature – drama, novels, poetry – may be related to clinical judgement, a view of literature is presented that emphasizes literature as an invitation to the reader, to be met responsibly and responsively. Literature carries a potential for a widened experience, for a more nuanced perception of reality – and this potential is suggested to be ethically relevant to the practice of medicine. The “narrative rationality” of a literary text constitutes a complement to the rationality pervading scientific medicine.

The final step in my analysis is a closer exploration of the potential of the literary text to contribute to the growth of clinical judgement, in relation to the challenges of everyday clinical work. Some of the conditions that may facilitate such growth are outlined, but it is also shown that full empirical evidence for the beneficial effects of reading on the clinician reader is beyond reach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Durham, 2010. p. 372
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-6285 (URN)978-91-7063-311-9 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Note
This is a PhD-thesis in Medical Humanities from Durham University.Available from: 2010-08-27 Created: 2010-08-27 Last updated: 2011-10-04Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R., Evans, M., Heath, I. & MacNaughton, J. (Eds.). (2008). Medical Humanities Companion: Volume One: Symptom. Radcliffe Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Medical Humanities Companion: Volume One: Symptom
2008 (English)Collection (editor) (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Radcliffe Publishing, 2008. p. 146
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-22913 (URN)9781846192869 (ISBN)
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R. (2008). Not at home but healthy: Some second thoughts on health as "home-like being-in-the-world. In: : . Paper presented at 22nd European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, 20 – 23 August 2008, Tartu, Estonia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Not at home but healthy: Some second thoughts on health as "home-like being-in-the-world
2008 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-21854 (URN)
Conference
22nd European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, 20 – 23 August 2008, Tartu, Estonia
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R. (2007). Medical humanities: arts and humanistic science. Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, 10(4), 385-393
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Medical humanities: arts and humanistic science
2007 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 385-393Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The nature and scope of medical humanities are under debate. Some regard this field as consisting of those parts of the humanistic sciences that enhance our understanding of clinical practice and of medicine as historical phenomenon. In this article it is argued that aesthetic experience is as crucial to this project as are humanistic studies. To rightly understand what medicine is about we need to acknowledge the equal importance of two modes of understanding, intertwined and mutually reinforcing: the mode of aesthetic imagination and the mode of analytical reflection.

National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-21377 (URN)10.1007/s11019-007-9081-3 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Ahlzén, R. (2007). Why health is not a human right.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why health is not a human right
2007 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-25769 (URN)
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-01-22
Ahlzén, R. (2006). The arts and the humanistic sciences in medicine: a case of synergism. In: Medicine, philosophy and the humanities: . Paper presented at XXth European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, August 23-26 2006, Helsinki, Finland.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The arts and the humanistic sciences in medicine: a case of synergism
2006 (English)In: Medicine, philosophy and the humanities, 2006Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Research subject
Public Health Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-24274 (URN)
Conference
XXth European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, August 23-26 2006, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved
Organisations

Search in DiVA

Show all publications