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American Journal of Bioethics.

We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say

This issue of the American Journal of Bioethics features a target article by Blumenthal-Barby and Ubel that focuses on patients who are unrealistically optimistic, in denial, or self-deceived. In his excellent commentary, Weinfurt points us toward a particular branch of communication theory—pragmatics—as a fruitful way of evaluating statements made by these patients. He and several other bioethicists have contributed to a small but growing literature applying pragmatics to physician–patient communication, research ethics, and our interpretation of empirical bioethics studies. We believe that pragmatics has the potential to transform how we hear and understand day-to-day communication with patients and their families.

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Volume 18, Issue 9
September 2018


We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say Jason N. Batten, Bonnie O. Wong, William F. Hanks & David Magnus