Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 259–272 | Cite as

Senator Bill Frist and the Medical Jeremiad

  • Benjamin R. Bates


This essay analyzes Senator Bill Frist's 2001 address to the American Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The author argues that the address represents an attempt to reframe physicians' political identity to authorize more active participation by them. Frist authorizes and demands such participation through the construction of a medical jeremiad. He argues that American physicians must have greater involvement to preserve the health of the body politic and to reassert physician control over the biomedical system. Although Frist's arguments are built on an apparently democratic form of address, his jeremiad illustrates aristocratic possibilities in medico-political rhetoric.


William H. Frist jeremiad medical ethos rhetoric in medicine social status of physicians 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Communication StudiesOhio UniversityAthens

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