Bless me reader for I have sinned: physicians and confessional writing.

Title

Bless me reader for I have sinned: physicians and confessional writing.

Creator

Wear Delese; Jones Therese

Publisher

Perspectives in biology and medicine

Date

2010
1905-07

Description

From the poetry of William Carlos Williams, the novels of Walker Percy, and the short stories of Anton Chekov to the contemporary essays of Atul Gawande, physicians' contributions to literary genres have been significant. This article explores the specific form of confessional writing offered by physicians during the past half century, writing that often exposes medical error or negative feelings towards patients. A history of confessional practices as a legal tool, as religious practice, and as literary genre is offered, followed by analyses of selected confessional writings by physicians, many of them found in clinical journals such as Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Lancet. The authors of the narratives described here are engaged in several or all elements of the confessional sequence, which may offer them some resolution through the exposure and acknowledgment of their shared humanity with their patients and their expression of regret for any harm done.

Subject

Humans; *Attitude of Health Personnel; Physicians/*psychology; *Physician-Patient Relations; Periodicals as Topic; *Truth Disclosure; Hippocratic Oath; Medical Errors; Medicine in Literature; Narration; Writing; Ethics; Clinical

Identifier

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

215–230

Issue

2

Volume

53

Citation

Wear Delese; Jones Therese, “Bless me reader for I have sinned: physicians and confessional writing.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed September 24, 2021, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/4928.

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