Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics

By Rita Charon; Martha Montello | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17

THE COLOR OF THE WALLPAPER: TRAINING FOR NARRATIVE ETHICS

ANNE HUDSON JONES

Narrative capacity seems to be an innate human ability. 1 However natural a Part of the human equipment, narrative skill can be developed by exposure to environments rich in stories. Thus, even if people were all born with exactly the same narrative capacity, the narrative competence of adults would vary. Just as natural musical talent can be enhanced by the study and practice of music, narrative capacity can be enhanced by the study of literature and the interpretation of complex texts. One consequence of the increasing interest in narrative ethics is the need to think about the kind of training that can enhance the natural narrative capacities of those ethicists whose professional training has not been focused on the study of literature or narrative.


NARRATIVE COMPETENCE

Before good answers can be offered as to how such training can be provided, the more basic question must be answered: What are the narrative skills that help clinicians and ethicists carry out their work? Narrative competence for clinical and ethical work includes at least the following skills: first, the reading and interpreting of complex texts; second, the writing and oral telling of complex clinical and ethical texts; third, the interpersonal relational and empathic capacities that depend upon mastery of the first and second set of skills; and fourth, the ability to think with stories.

Reading and interpreting complex texts requires learning to ask and answer such questions as: Who is the narrator? Is the narrator reliable? From what perspective or point of view is the story told? What does this perspective leave out? Who are the other potential narrators of this story? What might their perspectives add? How can differences between narrators’ stories be reconciled? What do individual readers bring to the story that influences their interpretations? How can differing interpretations be reconciled? If they can’t be reconciled, how should a reader handle such ambiguity? What patterns emerge from the accumulating

-160-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stories Matter: The Role of Narrative in Medical Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 244

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.