Jane Macnaughton: "A medical humanities view on patient and clinician perspectives in the consultation"
- Date: –10:00
- Location: Akademiska sjukhuset - Barnkliniken's Conference Room, Entrance 95/96 (follow signs/arrows)
- Organiser: Forum for Medical Humanities
- Contact person: Anna Tunlid
Forum for Medical Humanities
Jane Macnaughton, Professor of Medical Humanities, Durham University: "A medical humanities view on patient and clinician perspectives in the consultation"
When we think of a humane approach to patients in the setting of the clinical consultation the word ‘holistic’ is often used. The critical implication implicit in the use of this word is that clinical care, especially at specialist level, does not take sufficient notice of the needs of the person attached to the body part under scrutiny. That person is not only a whole body, but also a body existing within the social and emotional context of a family and community. In medical humanities we tend to focus also on the idea of ‘narrative’: that clinicians need to take account of the patient’s unique story about what brought them to the clinic and which reveals their beliefs and understanding about why they are there. Although these issues are important, they do not address the crucial setting of the consultation and the minute by minute flows and exchanges of perspective that take place within it. Paradoxically, a philosophical medical humanities eye view of the consultation reveals the importance of objectifying the body not only of the patient but also of the clinician. Such objectification enables a focus on precise and acute clinical skills, both of which are important to the patient. This paper will explain the essential nature of this perspective, and how it may be interlaced with the interpersonal within the clinical consultation. Both perspectives are crucial to humane clinical practice.
Jane Macnaughton is Professor of Medical Humanities at Durham University in the UK and Director of the University’s Institute for Medical Humanities (IMH). She has been centrally involved in the development of medical humanities in the UK since 1998. Most recently she conceived the idea of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research which was established on the back of a meeting she initiated at Durham in February 2013 with the purpose of strengthening the visibility of medical humanities research and encouraging collaboration across universities in the North of England, including Liverpool, and Scotland.
Jane currently holds two large awards from Wellcome: a Development Grant for the Centre for Medical Humanities and a Senior Investigator Award for her project, the Life of Breath. She sits on the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for established career awards in medical humanities. Her research focusses on the idea of the ‘symptom’: its initial appearance, development and evolution in connection with medical contexts, habits and technologies. She continues to be clinically active and is an Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University Hospital of North Durham.