Fractured: picking up the piecesBMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39239.704248.4E (Published 14 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1275
- Jessica Watson, academic FY2 doctor, United Bristol Healthcare Trust and University of Bristol
“Medicine can, and does, save lives and contribute to wellbeing, but much of it is a massive cultural deceit.” This is the controversial conclusion Ann Oakley reaches after being treated for the fracture of her right arm. Increasingly the medical profession is becoming aware of the value of patients' narratives, yet Ann Oakley is no ordinary patient. As professor of sociology and social policy at the Institute of Education, University of London, she treats her experiences as a “field trip into the land of bodily damage, disability, and personal injury litigation.” In an attempt to make sense of her experiences she launches a huge research project that touches on a myriad of themes including limitations of Western medicine, medical litigation, the problem of ageing, disability, and the confusion between bodies and identity.
Oakley portrays doctors as …