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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Martyn Evans

Evans, HM (2011). Travelling Companions: ethics and humanities in medicine. Bioethica Forum 4(4): 129-134.

Author(s) from Durham


The question of whether medicine is essentially a technical science, or
rather an existential practice with a centrally ethical task, is one of the
mainsprings of the field of enquiry known as «medical humanities», in
which ethical and other questions concerning medicine are explored
over a broader disciplinary canvas than philosophical medical ethics
alone. Here, humanities disciplines (which take human experience as
their avowed subject matter, and allow significance to subjectivity as a
source of knowledge) focus attention on individual and collective experiences
of health, illness, disability and healthcare.
Medical humanities recognises that art and imagination can «transfigure
the ordinary» in the ethical arena (as well as in contemplating medicine’s
ontology and epistemology), thus reminding us that ethical attention
(and analysis) has an imaginative as well as an intellectual dimension.
Thus, medical humanities offers a broader interdisciplinary engagement
that can open and enrich our grasp of the ethical.