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Fiction, ethics, and the gastroenterological journey Ordinary Tales from Endoscopic Odysseys

Authors
  • Meulenberg, Frans
  • de Beaufot, Inez D.1, 2
  • 1 Dept Medical Ethics and Philosophy of Medicine
  • 2 Erasmus MC/University Medical Center
Type
Published Article
Journal
Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpg.2014.02.007
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Fiction (i.e. novels, short stories, and movies) provides an opportunity for imaginative moral reflection and can serve as a basis for moral argument. Narratives play a role in moral reasoning because they are exemplars as well as tests. Those who care for sick people, should be interested in patient's and literary stories. Exploring the representation of gastroenterological ailments in fiction gives insight in the experience of undergoing colonoscopy, farting, pain, the borders of intimacy, hygiene and the lack of it, taboos and the doctor-patient-relationship. Included authors are, among others: Michel Faber, Alan Bennett, Charles Bukowski, Charlotte Roche and James Joyce. Several movies are discussed as well. Though in general gastroenterological problems don't seem often at foreground in fiction, in some cases they are represented in a more symbolic way, and touch upon some fundamental aspects of the human condition.

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