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Narrating Disease and Deviance in Media for Children and Young Adults / Krankheits- und Abweichungsnarrative in kinder- und jugendliterarischen Medien


Edited By Nina Holst, Iris Schäfer and Anika Ullmann

Narratives of disease and deviance have a long tradition within the field of children's and young adult literature. The specific characteristics of these representations have so far remained largely unexplored. The topics of this book are the narrato-logical and aesthetical particularities of these discourses.

Krankheits- und Abweichungsnarrative haben im Feld der Kinder- und Jugendmedien eine lange Tradition, deren Spezifik bisher nahezu unerforscht geblieben ist. Die Beiträge fokussieren und diskutieren medien- und epochenübergreifend narratologische und ästhetische Eigen- und Besonderheiten dieser Darstellungen.

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Child Coping Competence. Astrid Lindgren’s The Brothers Lionheart from a Medical Ethics Perspective



Children who are ill are particularly vulnerable. Due to their medical condition and lower age they are considered to have only limited ability to understand their medical condition and cope with the challenges involved in illness. All too often, children’s special need for protection thus seems to justify paternalism. The article challenges this approach by a medical ethical reading of The Brothers Lionheart in which world-famous author and advocate for children’s rights Astrid Lindgren illustrates the remarkable coping and decision-making competence children can develop when being confronted with illness and death.

(Dis-)Informed Minors

In today’s medicine, the autonomy and will of an ill child seem to have virtually no weight: on account of their stage of development and lower experience of life, children are said to have only a limited ability to understand their specific condition and make autonomous decisions (see Baines; Bruchhausen and Schott; Dickenson and Jones; Fisher-Jeffes, Barton, and Finlay; Jakovljević; Kirby; Winkler et al.). Minors’ special need for protection seems to justify medical paternalism, although some parties not only point to the wisdom sick children may gain but also quite pragmatically stress that informed consent – that is the patient’s voluntary, uninfluenced consent to medical measures after being informed on his or her specific situation – is necessary because treatment simply may not be effective if the child rejects it (Alderson 119–124). On first glance, the child’s right to participate seems firmly established for example in the United...

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