Narrative Medicine in Hospice Care: Identity, Practice, and Ethics through the Lens of Paul Ricoeur

  • ISBN 9781498554626

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Narrative medicine, an interdisciplinary field that brings together the study of literature and medicine, offers both a way of understanding patient identity and a method for developing a clinician's responsiveness to patients. Scholars in narrative medicine maintain that the ability to be a close reader of texts, particularly literature, correlates with the ability to attend closely to one's patients, an ability referred to as narrative competence. While recognizing the genuine value of narrative competence in clinical encounters, and the value of narrative medicine in patient-centered care, Tara Flanagan examine the limits of self-narration for patients with cognitive and verbal deficits. In Narrative Medicine in Hospice Care: Identity, Practice, and Ethics though the Lens of Paul Ricoeur, Flanagan argues that the models of selfhood and care found in the work of Paul Ricoeur can offer a framework for clinicians, caregivers, and end-of-life patients regardless of their verbal and cognitive capabilities. In particular, Ricoeur's concept of the life-plan connects with the narrative method of life review in hospice and palliative care, and patient identity is a way to discuss religious and spiritual dimensions of patient experience.
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