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Abstract from

Narrative Medical Competence and Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Moving Towards a Synthesis

Warren Brookbanks is Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.

‘Narrative medicine’ is a term connoting medicine practised with narrative competence. It proposes both an ideal of medical care and the methods used to grow towards those ideals. Therapeutic jurisprudence, on the other hand, is a legal construct which draws on social science insights to suggest a new approach to legal problem-solving which has, as a conscious aim, the reduction or elimination of the anti-therapeutic effects of law and legal processes. Both paradigms have in common a focus on individual experience within medical and legal life settings and point towards models of practice which are more therapeutically engaged and psychologically oriented. Through a connecting theme of the ethical ideal of hope, the article seeks to show that both these relational constructs are capable of empowering participants in medical and legal encounters into a more effective achievement of desired ends through the establishment of strong human relationships and more effective means of communication.

(2002) 20 No 2 Law in Context 74

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