Rethinking the Language of Cancer Diagnosis

Steffi Mac // Recently, I was introduced to a young doctor who had survived cancer and who is now working on Covid-19 duty. I wanted to interview her in order to present her narrative in my online initiative for cancer survivors, The Marrow Story. I was also trying to understand the health care system of…

Narrative Humility or Empathy?

Marcus Mosley // In healthcare, there has been much debate about the role empathy plays in patient-doctor communication, and whether it can and should be taught to medical students. Narrative Medicine has “not found empathy to be a useful term” and claims empathy to be “a misguided assumption that one can enter into or know…

Moving ‘Beyond the Bikini’: Exposing the Logics of Pinkwashed Healthcare

Elena Kalodner-Martin // Introduction As of 2017, the leading causes of death for women are heart diseases, lung cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and Alzheimer’s (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). However, public discourse surrounding women’s health and illness often focuses on other conditions, such as breast, ovarian, and cervical cancers, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual…

The Ethics of Feeding Tube Placement in Patients with Advanced Dementia

Joyeeta G. Dastidar // Dementia and the Loss of Descartes’s Attributes of the Soul One of the many disease processes physicians witness is what becomes of the body of someone with advanced dementia. Over time, there is a loss of many of the “attributes of the soul” René Descartes lists in his second meditation on…

Utera-Net as a Means to Revolt

Swati Joshi // The word ornament brings to mind the image of an entity that is stereotypically designated for “embellishment” (Rosenbauer 1947, 222). While analyzing ornaments as beautifying agents, we recall the inseparability of beauty and gaze, and that the object of beauty (whether human or non-human) surrenders to the gaze of the observer. The…

The Murky History of Colonizing Near Water

Theodora Christopher // In 1854, John Snow presented his theory that the rapid spread of cholera in London was due to the local water supply.[1] This was the first scientific documentation of a waterborne disease.[2] Research has since shown that illnesses such as botulism, dysentery, and typhoid are waterborne diseases, and that contaminated water can…

Sick Before the Sickness

Ann Mary // It’s been a long day. I am dreaming of drifting off to sleep, safely under my blanket. I close my eyes. Then, something crawls into the quiet. Is the gas turned off? it whispers. Before I can access memory, another has arrived. What about the door? it asks, louder now. Is it…

Proust in Pandemic: Part I

Catherine Parker // Saturday, March 14, was my last weekend call day as a third-year medical student on the vascular surgery service. That day, I spent twelve hours at New York Presbyterian Hospital. I also learned that elective surgeries had been cancelled to make Intensive Care Units out of operating rooms. So, it came as…

COVID-19: Novel Virus, Classic Scapegoating (Part 2)

Michael Goyette // This is Part 2 of a two-part essay. Read the first installment here. Commonly described as a “novel virus” and an “unprecedented” pandemic, COVID-19 has already proven to have many of the characteristics commonly attributed to new diseases in ancient literature: it is highly infectious and poses challenges for containment and treatment alike,…

COVID-19: Novel Virus, Classic Scapegoating (Part 1)

Michael Goyette // This is Part 1 of a two-part essay. The next installment will appear on Thursday, April 23. Like Pandora’s proverbial box, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly unleashed a deluge of suffering, hardship, and abuse. One of the earliest and best-known Greek myths, the story of Pandora relates the abrupt appearance of misfortunes…