Arthur W Frank

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Illness troubles us because it is an occasion of suffering, but research on illness has difficulty conceptualizing suffering--and naturally so because suffering is not a concept but a lived reality that resists articulation. Based on the work of Dorothy Smith, the author argues that the rhetoric of social science inadvertently increases suffering because it(More)
Social scientists have explored the writing of Russian literary philosopher Bakhtin from a variety of perspectives, but little attempt has been made to apply Bakhtin's conception of dialogue to the conduct of research and the production of research reports. The author's questions relate to what dialogical research would look like and the ethical imperative(More)
Health circulates inside bodies, as a condition of cells, tissues and organs, and outside bodies as signs. Health stories offer people bits of a subjectivity of health: an awareness of what is interior, expressed in signs that are exterior. Three genres of health stories are described: technoluxe stories, unbearable health stories and strategic health(More)
A project shared by humanities in medicine, bioethics, social scientific studies of medical practice, and related studies can be summarized by the following question: How can we reduce the gap between suffering caused by the body's deteriorations, whether the result of illness, disability, or aging, and the total suffering that attends these deteriorations?(More)
First-person narratives of illness experience are dramatic: the narrator, who is also the sufferer, is caught in conflicts of forces that permit understanding more than control. Among the dramas of illness, five occur frequently in autobiographical accounts of illness. These dramas overlap and have varying emphases in different people's stories. They are(More)
The noun form of ethics suggests something substantive; this substance is located in both offices of institutionalized experts and a body of canonical solutions to recognizable troubles. The present article recommends thinking of ethics not as substance but as a process of lives and decisions affecting each other over time. No single decision stands alone(More)