Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
Sociologist Arthur Frank has been an important narrator of the experience
of illness and observer of doctor-patient interactions since his account of
his own cancer and a heart attack described in At the Will
of the Body in 1991. His second book, The Wounded
Storyteller, examined first-person illness narratives more broadly
as vehicles for self-reflection and discovery. With his latest book, The Renewal of Generosity, Frank turns his attention to
what he sees as the problem of demoralized medicine and a lack of generosity
in caregiving. In the introduction, Frank responds to the question of whether
he had ever expressed "unqualified gratitude" to the doctors who had treated
him when he had cancer. He answers that he hadn't. He also notes that his
physicians had often not treated him with unqualified compassion. He is troubled
by this and wonders what went wrong.
Kolarik R. Ethics. JAMA. 2004;292(8):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.981-b