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HEALTH Judy Z. Segal and the Rhetoric of Medicine Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine Southern Illinois University Press Segal ISBN 0-8093-2866-6 ISBN 978-0-8093-2866-6 HEALTH Rhetoric / Health “Judy Z. Segal makes a strong contribution to medical rhetoric in a work that is well reasoned and ably argued, a work that methodically extends the province of rhetorical analysis in ways both insightful and useful.” —Rhetoric Review Persuasion is a key to understanding some of the most difficult-to-solve problems in health and health care—problems like illness anxiety, “contested illnesses,” patient noncompliance, and end-of-life decision making . In each case, maintains rhetorical theorist Judy Z. Segal, a revealing question to ask is, “Who is persuading whom of what—and what are the means of persuasion?” Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine explores problems in health and health care that resist conventional medical solutions. Segal analyzes, for example, the reciprocal persuasions in the physician/patient relationship. Patients persuade physicians that they are ill and in need of care; physicians , for their part, seek to persuade patients to adhere to treatments. The intractable problem of a patient’s rejection of a doctor’s advice, says Segal, can be considered, in part, a rhetorical failure: a failure of persuasion. The first comprehensive study of contemporary health issues grounded in rhetorical principles, Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine offers critical analysis for scholarly, professional, and lay audiences. Judy Z. Segal is Professor of English at the University of British Columbia, where she teaches the history and theory of rhetoric as well as the rhetoric of science and medicine. Southern Illinois University Press 1915 University Press Drive Mail Code 6806 Carbondale, IL 62901 Printed in the United States of America Segal-NIP-Rhetoric of Medicine.i1 1 5/13/08 10:05:23 AM Health and the Rhetoric of Medicine ...


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