Narrative Medicine, a communicative practice that directs care towards the person

  • Massimiliano Marinelli | Docente di Medicina Narrativa, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.


It is urgent to direct the doctor-patient relationship towards the person, to avoid that it expires in a reductionist and technical sense and that it focuses on the biomedical aspects of the disease, jeopardizing the very dignity of the patient. However, this direction cannot be launched without tools capable of responding to the needs of this renewed relationship. This essay believes that Narrative Medicine has such tools as a communicative practice that directs care towards the person. According to this definition, Narrative Medicine arises ontologically in every care relationship, as the care is given through communicative acts in a specific ethical atmosphere. The recognition of narration as an essential element in any care relationship is an operation full of epistemological implications. Through hermeneutics and phenomenology, the essay analyzes the implications related to the meaning of the narrative for the person, the reflective character of the self and personal identity. The carried-out analysis reveals an epistemological status of a communicative practice that recognizes the primacy of the person and the purpose of care, to be achieved through interpersonal dialogue, in search of a concordance. Furthermore, Narrative Medicine presents a particular point of view on the other, who is never a stranger, both because it is necessary to know his perspective and because his presence constitutively enters the very identity of the doctor. Finally, the narrative dimension leads us to consider the relationship as a value to be pursued and defended, and, consequently, brings Narrative Medicine towards an ethics of care.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.
Original Articles
ethics, communication, person, narrative
  • Abstract views: 1590

  • PDF: 8
How to Cite
Marinelli, M. (2021). Narrative Medicine, a communicative practice that directs care towards the person. Medicina E Morale, 70(1), 55-71.