Like bookends, birth and death contain innumerable narratives that we come to experience, recall, and reflect on in a unique fashion throughout life. In hindsight, the bookmarks we leave behind often refer us to poignant ups and downs, many of which pertain to shifts in personal health as well as the health of those we hold dear. In this article, I will demonstrate how in medical contexts such as a terminal illness, our narratives are driven by assumptions we tend to take for granted or rarely challenge as patients. Drawing from transformative learning theory, I will suggest a framework in which medical practitioners invite narratives with the aim of helping patients identify, challenge, and in some cases transform assumptions about their health and worldviews of medicine.
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