Tag Archives: medical ethics


I passed the 11+! I liked doing puzzles (intelligence tests.) I had (note the past tense) a good memory and liked writing essays. All that spelled academic success back in the 50s. I taught in secondary schools in the 60s. … Continue reading

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Life and Death in an American hospital

“The House of God,” by Samuel Shem was compared on the front cover to Catch 22. How could I resist? I hadn’t noticed till I was into the first steamy bit that the recommendation was by Cosmopolitan. However the introduction … Continue reading

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Lone Wolf: Jodi Picoult

I am a “dog person”. I have lived with a dog most of my life, all except 10 years of my young adult years, especially if I include my kids’ dogs as part of my personal pack. I have never … Continue reading

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State of Wonder: Ann Patchett

Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women forever. ( End notes). “Bel Canto”, an earlier work of Ann Patchett’s, was recommended … Continue reading

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Sunt Lacrimae Rerum: There are tears

“Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.” “There is ┬ásadness in reality, and mortal things affect the ┬ámind”- but how unpoetic is that translation, and Lucretius is poignant. We cannot escape grief and suffering. Two days ago I read in … Continue reading

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Am I my body? The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks: Rebecca Skloot; and A Leg To Stand On: Oliver Sachs

Am I a “ghost in the machine”? Am I a wetware machine? What is consciousness? A soul or an epiphenomenon? Are my cells mine? Can someone patent my DNA? Every generation has its own questions: the history of human thought … Continue reading

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