Humor in Health Care

According to philosophers of humor, our experiences of “funny” can release nervous tension, express our feelings of superiority over others, or reveal our struggles to assimilate something unexpected. Comedy is the art of creating funny, and studying when and why things are funny is a part of value theory called aesthetics. Like ethics, aesthetics helps us interrogate what we value and what we see as worth the risk to get a benefit from humor. To some, not much is funny about illness and injury. To others, there seems to be a lot to joke about. This tension is the focus of this issue.

Volume 22, Number 7: E571-644 Full Issue PDF