Invisible Credibility: Ethos and the E-patient


  • Susan Ghiaciuc



ethos, credibility, online medical community, rhetoric, chronic illness, television, patient-advocate


Ethos, although clearly an important rhetorical appeal, remains largely unexamined in our discussions of health-related issues. Increasingly, important health information is exchanged and public discussions take place in online forums, and whose ethos we accept as most valid has important repercussions for patients, health-professionals, and medical research. Drawing on arguments presented in online medical communities, this paper considers how chronically ill patients with invisible disabilities challenge regulating norms of accepted ethos. Using disability theory and online patient commentary about a contested Oprah Winfrey show episode, I examine how these online patients use their emergent ethos to co-construct important medical knowledge.




How to Cite

Ghiaciuc, S. (2011). Invisible Credibility: Ethos and the E-patient. Disability Studies Quarterly, 31(1).