Seeing illness in art and medicine: a patient and printmaker collaboration

Devan Stahl headshotAssistant Professor Devan Stahl, PhD, recently published an original article in Medical Humanities. Dr. Stahl’s article, “Seeing illness in art and medicine: a patient and printmaker collaboration,” is co-authored by her sister, artist Darian Goldin Stahl. The piece features personal and insightful commentary from both authors, delving into chronic illness, body image, and reclaiming or reframing one’s experiences through art.

Abstract: For many patients, viewing one’s illness through medical imaging technology can be an unsettling experience. Patients are likely not to see themselves represented in medical images and may find it difficult to reconcile this new image with their own body image. In this article, a patient with multiple sclerosis and a printmaker describe a collaborative project they have developed, wherein the patient’s medical images are incorporated into pieces of fine art. The aim of the project is to open up the interpretation of the ill-body to persons outside the medical field, so as to do justice to the multiple dimensions of the body chronically ill persons often inhabit.

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Darian Goldin Stahl, Doorway, Silkscreen, 84″×42″, 2013. dariangoldinstahl.com

“Seeing illness in art and medicine: a patient and printmaker collaboration” was published online first on March 21, 2016. The article was selected as an editor’s pick on Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum. To learn more about Dr. Stahl’s work, visit her faculty profile.

About Michigan State Bioethics

Devoted to understanding and teaching the ethical, social and humanistic dimensions of illness and health care since 1977.
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