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Maimonides On the Regimen of Health

A New Parallel Arabic-English Translation

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Gerrit Bos

Maimonides’ On the Regimen of Health was composed at an unknown date at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son who complained of constipation, indigestion, and depression. The treatise enjoyed great popularity in Jewish circles, as it was translated three times into Hebrew as far as we know now, namely by Moses ben Samuel ibn Tibbon in the year 1244, by an anonymous translator, and by Zeraḥyah ben Isaac ben She’altiel Ḥen who was active as a translator in Rome between 1277 and 1291. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, the medieval Hebrew translations and the Latin translations, the latter edited by Michael McVaugh.
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The Patient-Doctor Dynamics

Examining Current Trends in the Global Healthcare Sector

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Edited by Anna Karin Jytte Holmqvist

This book provides an insight into research conducted by participants attending The Patient: Examining Realities: 5th Global Conference, held in Oxford, England, 14-16 September, 2016. These attendees and subsequent volume contributors include medical professionals and healthcare providers employed by reputable academic institutions, and who take a both scientific and practical interest in the healthcare industry and its practices. The book also includes discourses by academics with a more theoretical interest in health and the complex doctor-patient relationship. Research presented herein is both steeped in cultural traditions and reflective of new trends in certain countries across the globe. Theories, practices and trends highlighted in the book are ultimately universal in that they concern all of us on a global level.
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Roslyn Jones

am a doctor who has worked as a provider of health care to individuals, as a medical administrator organising health care delivery within public hospitals, as a public servant involved in the policy development for health care delivery across the state, and, finally, as a go-between, between clinical staff and lawyers during the investigation and resolution of legal claims and coronial matters involving a public teaching hospital. Over this time period, I have observed a shift in how ‘The Patient’ is perceived, related to, and provided for, but also, in what ‘The Patient’ expects from health professionals and the health system. My observation is that these expectations have grown because of a number of factors, which include the advances in health care that make more things possible; the decrease in religious faith in general that shifts from a belief that our lives are in God’s hands to a desire to be able to insure against any misadventure; the ready availability to sources of information on computer servers by which patients believe that they are better informed than their treating practitioners; a growing ‘individual right’ mentality that demands many ‘rights’, including the guarantee of a perfect birth, a long age and a pain-free existence, and, finally, a right to a legal remedy, should these not eventuate. The focus of the paper is on this changing relationship between patient and doctor that has so many positive features, but leaves the health system in danger of not serving the greater public while pursuing a super-specialised individual focus, and of health professionals feeling under threat by a prevalent litigious and complaint ethos. Ultimately, this equates to an unfortunate loss of trust on both of sides of this valuable relationship.

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Sônia Aparecida Bortolotto Torezan

This paper presents a narrative of the findings of a patient who was diagnosed with melanoma in February 2014. My aim is to revisit the stages of recognition, denial and acceptance of the disease, as well as my medical care history as a patient. The often misleading standardized care and medical guidelines, the progression to metastases, the hopelessness of the medical treatments, and the need for highly toxic drug use, led to alternative practices to deal with the cancer. Acupuncture, yoga, Jin Shin Jyutsu,a Ayurvedic medicineb and guidance on nutrition and meditation have been decisive to a radical life change. At one point, revisiting the aspect of spirituality also became important, as the understanding of the relationship with God and my fellow men took on a different perspective. The equilibrium and the potentiality of the energy deriving from this change of life have led to a high quality of living and to the development of a new program of activities. This set of practices has triggered a mental and physical balance, which, in turn, has affected my life as a patient in a positive and decisive way. As I share this life experience, I intend to contribute to the studies of patient care, as well as to other patients’ processes of self-understanding and self-healing.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is ‘an art of harmonizing the life energy in the body.’ ‘Welcome to Jin Shin Jyutsu,’ Jin Shin Jyutsu (website), last modified 2018, http://www.jinshinjyutsu.com/.

Ayurveda is the name given to the healing knowledge practiced in India for over 5000 years, considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science in the world. ‘Ayurveda,’ University of Maryland Medical Center (website), last modified 2018. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/ayurveda.

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Lani R. Stockwell and Scott E. Hendrix

Occupational Therapy is a medical field that privileges both a patient-centred approach as well as a holistic approach to care. Furthermore, unlike the training that typifies much of medical education, OT’s are encouraged to apply ‘therapeutic use of self,’ in contrast to being educated to become ‘neutral, impartial, knowers,’ who attempt to inculcate and approach in which their own individuality is meaningless in their interactions with patients. In this paper, the co-authors, one of whom is an Occupational Therapist and the other of whom is a historian and cultural theorist, argue that therapeutic use of self can be enhanced by educating Occupational Therapists to understand the contexts of discursive truth-formation, in a Foucauldian sense. This argument is built around an analysis of case studies drawn from fifteen years of occupational therapy practice, considered through the lens of the cultural theory of Michel Foucault and Kimberlé Crenshaw, who pioneered the concept of intersectionality, buttressed with survey data drawn from Carroll University’s graduate students in both Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.

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Peter Bray

This chapter analyses thematically 30 different papers given at a conference on storytelling, illness and medicine in March, 2016. Although this conference broadly focused on storytelling in relation to the construction of individual and collective illness narratives, common themes emerged that locate the position of the patient in a number of contexts and from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives. Although this is not an exhaustive picture of the patient, her experiences and challenges, the narratives of both patients and their caregivers, when placed alongside commonly held assumptions and expectations of patient care and relationship, do shed light upon and help to organise ideas being currently discussed by the field. Thus, how we tell the story of the changing identity, role and position of the patient in our global communities enables us to see more clearly what its advantages and limitations might be for all the stakeholders. In offering themselves up for analysis these presentations raise awareness, inform interventions, and suggest the strengthening of collaborative alliances in patient care that can only significantly be brought about when human beings work more respectfully with other human beings.

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Jytte Holmqvist

This paper explores the postmodern elements in Pons’ film Barcelona (un mapa) (2007). Of interest is the screened portrayal of the tolerant relationship between a Catalan husband and wife and the fluid gender notions adhered to by the former; a man who repeatedly engages in gender performativity within the safety of his own home and who by refraining from doing so in a public external space could be considered sexually inhibited as he may feel hindered to express himself in contemporary Spain, conscious of the social stigma that he may attract were he to embrace his dual identity. The paper additionally analyses the representation of Barcelona as a capital that can be mapped and spatially explored, the scenes depicting Barcelona’s eclectic architecture, and the cinematic photo-effect as a method by which Pons connects the pre-democratic past with the global present on screen. Barcelona (un mapa) is based on Lluïsa Cunillé’s 2004 screenplay Barcelona, mapa d’ombres. Translated into English as Barcelona, Map of Shadows, the shadows from the past linger in a visual narrative mainly steeped in the present. The film’s postmodernity is reflected in its collage-like structure, with a cinematic montage challenging a conventionally chronological time pattern. Specifically, the story-line criss-crosses between past and present through regular flashbacks from times gone by and an opening scene featuring black and white footage of the decisive moment when Franco forces entered Barcelona in 1939. The viewer is then swiftly transported into a colour-tinged present. Such a non-linear narrative structure underscores the postmodernity of the film, as does the episodic plot containing lengthy and highly theatrical dialogues between two characters at a time. Rather than on external action, Pons explores the complex relationships between his protagonists and also between these characters and their increasingly postmodern urban habitat.

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Gabriela Salim Spagnol, Li Hui Ling and Li Li Min

Patients with cancer often face emotional conflicts, which impact on the quality of life. A technique named Mandala of Emotions (ME), developed by one of us (lhl) and with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been used to promote self-understanding and coping with emotions, with promising results. We report an experience with add-on Mandala of Emotions therapy in a 44-year-old woman diagnosed with breast neuroendocrine carcinoma. This is a single case study using description and report from the patient during her treatment for breast cancer. This experience encompasses a follow-up of two years. Mandala of Emotions applies five coloured (green, red, yellow, white and black) stones the size of a walnut, which are placed around the patient or on the patient’s body while laid down in supine. The session lasts around 15 minutes. The female patient initiated ME as a way to come to terms with her emotions and internal conflicts. She felt that ME has helped her understand her feelings and find a way to cope with them, particularly soon after chemotherapy when she experienced an overflow of emotions combined with physical frailty and mental vulnerability. During her treatment, she developed a drop in platelet level as a side effect of chemotherapy, which led to hospital admission and transfusion. Concomitantly, she started to feel panic and her physician felt that medication for panic attack was not an option due to the circumstances. She self-discharged from the hospital because of panic attack. At home, Dr. Ling applied ME to countermeasure the feeling of fear. The panic attack subsided in a week, and a couple of days later she regained her physical strength. In parallel, her platelet levels increased too. This single case illustrates the use of ME as add-on therapy for self-healing and resolution of internal conflicts.

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Susana Teixeira Magalhães

As Arendt puts it ‘without being bound to the fulfilment of promises, we would never be able to keep our identities; we would be condemned to wander helplessly and without direction in the darkness of each man’s lonely heart.a In the novel Never Let Me Go, by Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro, we are faced with the question of what it means to be human in a brave new world of clones and their makers, where the promise to be oneself can only be taken by the non-cloned human beings living in a society ruled by the myth of perfection interpreted as the myth of immortality. The problem with this myth is that death can only be deferred, not erased and the nature of utopia is to last while the gap between the ideal and reality is kept. Once this gap is overcome, utopia disappears. As Habermas warns in his book The Future of Human Nature, genetic manipulation is bound up with the identity and self-understanding of the species and the brave new world of Never Let Me Go makes the reader see what it means to change human condition. The plot underlines three important conditions of humanness: memory, empathy and the ability and willingness to tell one’s own story to the Other. This essay aims at understanding what cloning is, including ethical issues of biotechnology and the role of narrative in our quest for the heart of human nature.

Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1958), 237.

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Edited by Jytte Holmqvist