The ethical imperative of medical humanities

J Med Humanit. 2010 Dec;31(4):267-77. doi: 10.1007/s10912-010-9118-0.


Medical humanities purchases its presence on the medical side of university campuses by adopting as its own the ends of medicine and medical ethics. It even justifies its presence by asserting promotion of those ends as an ethical imperative, most of all to improve the caring in medical care. As unobjectionable, even praiseworthy, as this imperative appears, it actually constrains the possibilities for interpersonal relationship in the context of medical practice. Development of those possibilities requires openness of self to the existentially challenging ethical imperative to care also literally for nothing at all.

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humanities / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Love
  • Moral Obligations
  • Social Identification