Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 15–25 | Cite as

Rejecting Medical Humanism: Medical Humanities and the Metaphysics of Medicine

  • Jeffrey P. BishopEmail author


The call for a narrative medicine has been touted as the cure-all for an increasingly mechanical medicine. It has been claimed that the humanities might create more empathic, reflective, professional and trustworthy doctors. In other words, we can once again humanise medicine through the addition of humanities. In this essay, I explore how the humanities, particularly narrative medicine, appeals to the metaphysical commitments of the medical institution in order to find its justification, and in so doing, perpetuates a dualism of humanity that would have humanism as the counterpoint to the biopsychosociologisms of our day.


Medical humanities Narrative medicine Humanism Anti-humanism 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Biomedical Ethics and SocietyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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