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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

Registration Open! Medical Humanities Workshop at the University of Basel

Registration Open! Medical Humanities Workshop at the University of Basel, organised by Anna Elsner, Franziska Gygax and Manuela Rossini

Keynote talks by Seamus O'Mahony, Marion Coutts, Anne Hudson Jones and Ivan Callus

Patients and their families approaching the end of life (be it due to old age, chronic incurable or terminal illness) are faced with a range of practical, medical, legal and psychosocial decisions. The role of contemporary medicine in shaping these decisions is at the heart of many of the recently published auto/thanatographies (memoirs by patients and those surviving them). It is also central to a number of texts authored by physicians reflecting more broadly on ethical challenges with regard to death and ‘the way we die now’ (O’Mahony 2016). The workshop focuses on exploring what empathy means in doctor/nurse/patient interactions in end-of-life/palliative care and on the role of narratives/narration in fostering more empathetic relations between dying persons and caretakers – be they medical professionals, volunteers, relatives or friends. We will also address ethical, philosophical, and socio-cultural issuesrelated to dying/death, explore representations of dying and death in literary and cultural texts, and discuss concepts of mortality and medicalised death. The workshop will includereadings from The Iceberg by Marion Coutts, winner of 2015 Wellcome Book Prize.