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Author Archive: Nathan Carlin


by Deborah Franklin, DDS, MA, LPC and Nathan Carlin, PhD 

What is health humanities? Why is it important? How is it different from medical humanities? And where does dentistry fit in health humanities? In this blog post, we will attempt to offer brief answers to these questions.  

The term “health humanities” is usually meant to be an alternative to “medical humanities.” Health humanities is intended to be inclusive of all health professions (nursing, dentistry, public health, etc.), and it relativizes the importance of medicine such that medicine is not dominant. As a point of comparison, what was once called medical ethics is now referred to as clinical ethics (to be inclusive of nursing ethics, dental ethics, etc.) …

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by Nathan Carlin, Ph.D.

When I began reading in the history of bioethics, I was struck by the fact that many of the founders of bioethics had theological degrees, which led to a common way of articulating the origins of the field: “Bioethics began in theology, but quickly secularized.” There are debates about how this happened. Yet in recent years a renewed interest in religion and bioethics has emerged. The University of Chicago’s Program on Religion and Medicine is one such example.

Because I am a pastoral theologian, I also was struck by the fact that pastoral theologians have not contributed to bioethics in any meaningful way.…

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