The impressive progress of medical science over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has tended to overshadow the art of caring for the patient and their families. This book aims to restore the balance by examining practical ways in which the arts can help health professionals to understand the experience of suffering and illness. Written by a family physician with 25 years experience, Humanity in Healthcare offers a broad perspective on the potential contribution of the arts toward fostering a humane approach to the care of those who are ill or suffering. It refers to a wide range of literature from prose and poetry, sociology, history, philosophy, politics, religion and spirituality. This book is an invaluable resource for all medical and healthcare professionals as well as students of the medical humanities.
Part 1: The philosophy of health care. The art of seeing. The politics of health. Part 2: Suffering and spirituality. The illness experience in literature. Chronic illness and the sociology of disability. Mental illness and the poetry of despair. Narratives of abuse. Dances with death. Part 3: The history of healing. The dynamics of healing. Uncertainty, bewilderment and mystery. Compassion. Professional fulfillment. Professional virtue.