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Gadow's relational narrative: an elaboration

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Abstract:

Abstract

Nurse philosopher Sally Gadow (1999) has proposed the relational narrative between patient and nurse as a ‘postmodern turn’ for nursing ethics. She has conceptualized this moral approach as the construction by patient and nurse of a coauthored narrative describing the good they are seeking, as well as the means to achieve this good. The purpose of this article is to provide an elaboration of Gadow's seminal conceptualization of relational narrative based on her writings and those of other philosophers. The article will further develop relational narrative's foundations in relationship and narrative and will explore engagement as a dimension essential to its creation and growth. The elaboration first builds on the notion of relationship as foundational to this postmodern moral perspective. Narrative then is advanced as being at the heart of the patient–nurse relationship and their relational narrative, based on an exploration of narrative's role in the moral realm as an epistemology for patient and nurse. Finally, the dialogic and embodied engagement expressed by a relational narrative is developed as a critical element of the ethic.

Keywords: Gadow; engagement; patient–nurse relationship; postmodern ethics; relational narrative

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1466-769X.2003.00126.x

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, New Mexico State University, NM, USA

Publication date: 2003-07-01

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