How literature can help develop a nursing perspective: the contribution of the novel “Mend the Living”

By Nicolas Vonarx

Including the humanities in health sciences training is a means of humanizing healthcare practice. The humanities and social sciences, but also artistic disciplines such as dance, film, theater, and literature make it possible to take into account the complexity of lived experiences and to deepen the notion of caring. In this paper, we revisit the relevance and usefulness of literature in educating healthcare workers. We analyze “Mend the Living”, a novel by Maylis de Kerangal that explores the issue of organ harvesting, to show how content of this kind can deepen caregivers’ perspectives. Constantly referring to the text as if it were anthropological field data, we open the door to themes of significant phenomenological, ethical, political, and anthropo-sociological interest that could be used as spaces of encounter and pedagogical reflection.

  • literature
  • novel
  • teaching
  • humanities and care
  • De Kerangal
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