Palliative Care Conversations: Clinical and Applied Linguistic Perspectives

Gramlingnewstoolstoryde Gruyter 2018, series Language and Social Life, co-authored with Robert Gramling MD, DSc (University of Vermont). Pre-order here.

 

An excerpt from the first page of the book:

“Palliative Care Conversations arose from the interactional work of hundreds of people speaking with one another about life-and-death issues ranging from the profound to the minute—often under conditions of great duress, suffering, and distraction. On one level, the “work” these people do—for and with one another—is the work of emotion, understanding, spirituality, empathy, morality, comfort, expertise, logistics, nourishment, community, care, and imagination. But this work is always also the work of conversation, where participants—ranging from physicians and nurse practitioners to medical students, family friends, and seriously ill persons themselves—spontaneously co-create a complex and diverse fabric of conversational speech acts among them, which help them accomplish certain interactional goals and meanings in certain moments. Sometimes these goals are vague and diffuse to the observer, sometimes they are stunningly overt and precise. Sometimes participants’ contributions to conversations have to do with concrete clinical realities, and sometimes they have nothing to do with hospitals or illness whatsoever. Sometimes various participants’ goals coincide with one another; often they do not. We titled this book Palliative Care Conversations in the plural, so as to emphasize that we do not believe in a single exemplary, model conversation that ought to be followed in contexts of serious, life-limiting illness—contexts often called End-of-Life conversations—when multiple curative interventions have proven ineffective over time. There are many such models, and many of these are presented in this book, thanks to the efforts of the patients, families, and clinicians featured in the forthcoming chapters.”

 

About livelongday

Associate Professor of German Studies, Director of Graduate Studies Co-Editor of Critical Multilingualism Studies | cms.arizona.edu Co-Investigator, Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law, and the State (2014–2017)
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