Narrative and illness: the death of a doctor’s friend

Anne P Hellman
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06544.x
Published online: 3 January 2005

Story-telling can help doctors cope with the great catastrophe of illness and death

Recently, I was involved in the diagnosis, suffering and, ultimately, death of my friend and patient, “Christie”. When I began to write about this experience, I thought that I was writing her story. But soon, I realised that this is my own story. Narrative, a recital of facts in the first person, has been used as a tool for people who personally experience illness. However, I believe it can be used by doctors as they try to understand the illnesses and sufferings of their patients.

  • Anne P Hellman

  • Beecroft Family Practice, Beecroft, NSW.



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