Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 499–513 | Cite as

Patient reflections on the disenchantment of techno-medicine

  • Devan Stahl


Over one hundred years after Max Weber delivered his lecture “Science as a Vocation,” his description of the work of the physician in a disenchanted world still resonates. As a chronically ill patient who interacts with physicians frequently, I struggle with reconciling my understanding of my ill body with how my physician makes sense of my illness. My diagnosis created an existential crisis that caused me to search for meaning in my embodied experience, but I soon learned there is little room for such a search within modern biomedicine. Instead, I turned to fine art to help me make sense of my ill body and its purpose in my life. With the aid of my printmaker sister, Darian Goldin Stahl, I have transformed the magnetic resonance images of my body into works of art, which help to re-enchant my body and give purpose to my illness.


Disenchantment Fine art Patient experience Biopower Technovision 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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