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cancer, dialogue, discourse, medicalization, open heart surgery



  1. Cowling, W. Richard III PhD, RN, APRN-BC
  2. Shattell, Mona M. PhD, RN
  3. Todd, Marti RN, BSN, PN


The purpose of this article is to inform emerging theoretical understanding of medicalization by challenging, updating, and affirming a previously published essay on this topic by Hall. We accomplished this through the creation of a discourse among the 3 authors using the essay, written entirely from a personal perspective, and integrated our own personal experiences as nurses and patients. Hall's essay on the authentic meaning of medicalization provided a critical understanding of medicalization of cancer describing the factors, forces, and consequences, seeking to raise consciousness and provoke reform. The 3 of us added our voices to her narrative seeking to expand the discourse on medicalization and inform theory development. We have shared our individual and collective voices and identified elements that might point the way to theoretical emergence and ending with our own call for nursing to evolve further as a field worthy of human inspiration.