Health Misinformation and the Power of Narrative Messaging in the Public Sphere

  • Timothy Caulfield Health Law Institute, Faculty of Law; School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Alessandro R Marcon Health Law Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Blake Murdoch Health Law Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Jasmine M Brown Institute of Health Economics; Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Sarah Tinker Perrault University Writing Program, University of California, Davis, United States of America
  • Jonathan Jarry Office for Science and Society, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Jeremy Snyder Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
  • Samantha J Anthony The Hospital for Sick Children; Canadian National Transplant Research Program, Toronto, Canada
  • Stephanie Brooks Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Zubin Master Biomedical Ethics Research Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, United States of America
  • Christen Rachul Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  • Ubaka Ogbogu Faculty of Law; Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
  • Joshua Greenberg School of Journalism and Communication, Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
  • Amy Zarzeczny Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina, Regina, Canada
  • Robyn Hyde-Lay Health Law Institute, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Keywords: Health Communication, Science Communication, Social Media, Narrative, Public Health

Abstract

Numerous social, economic and academic pressures can have a negative impact on representations of biomedical research. We review several of the forces playing an increasingly pernicious role in how health and science information is interpreted, shared and used, drawing discussions towards the role of narrative. In turn, we explore how aspects of narrative are used in different social contexts and communication environments, and present creative responses that may help counter the negative trends. As traditional methods of communication have in many ways failed the public, changes in approach are required, including the creative use of narratives.

Published
2019-05-24
How to Cite
[1]
Caulfield T, Marcon AR, Murdoch B, Brown JM, Perrault ST, Jarry J, Snyder J, Anthony SJ, Brooks S, Master Z, Rachul C, Ogbogu U, Greenberg J, Zarzeczny A, Hyde-Lay R. Health Misinformation and the Power of Narrative Messaging in the Public Sphere. Can. J. Bioeth. 2019;2:52-60. https://doi.org/10.7202/1060911ar.
Section
Critical commentaries