Hope House, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church
For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As patients we are concerned about the diagnosis but most afraid of the prognosis. This is true for individuals as well as communities. Our hopes seem to be found in either denial or illusions of control found in our technology.
I just finished a critique of the culture of technology, Narratives of Technology, by J. M. van der Laan. The focus of this book are the stories we tell about the technology. What I learned is that we can easily over emphasize the benefits as well as the hazards of the control we seek.
As physicians we are called to negotiate the diagnostic and prognostic uncertainties using our technologies. We change the statistics into stories. The art is found in the creation of a narrative truth where trust can be found and fears of the future calmed. Sometimes this happens during the care we provide. More often the narratives happen in the quiet of places of faith like the “Hope House”.
van der Laan, J. M. (2016). Narratives of Technology (1st ed. 2016 ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.
Hage, M. L. (2012). Hope.
Hage, M. L. (2014). The Limits of Healing?
Hage, M. L. (2015). Telling the Story.