It is with much sadness that we report the death of Dr Sue Eckstein, the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Medical Humanities. Sue Eckstein was an outstanding appointment. Her commitment to, and expertise in, the health humanities meant that she was the perfect person to lead the journal and we were delighted when she agreed to become Editor. In the all-too-brief time that she held the position, Sue approached her work with characteristic creativity, dedication and enthusiasm.
Sue was thoughtful and generous with all those with whom she worked. She inspired the teams with which she worked on Medical Humanities and gave meaning to the term ‘collaborative’ in her approach to working with others. The response from authors, reviewers and Editorial colleagues to the news of Sue’s death has revealed the depth of respect and affection felt by so many people for Sue.
The next issue of the journal will be dedicated to Sue.
25 Nov, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
Whilst watching the film, “The Doctor”, released in the year 1991, I was struck by the same old question in my mind, whose answer I have been looking for several years that; to what extent does a doctor need to be attached or detached from their patients as persons?
11 Nov, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
Last year, the round-up of medical humanities-related films at the London Film Festival (LFF) centred on the theme of old age. This year, to synchronise with Mental Health Day (which fell on 10th October 2013, the second of the twelve days of the LFF), the mind and its mishaps serve as our cluster-point.
27 Oct, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
The impact of stroke on the lives of patients and their carers seen in the French film “Amour” directed by Michael Haneke was an eye opener to audience around the world, and justifying the film winning the Oscar for the best foreign film in 2012. As stroke organisations around the world celebrate the “World Stroke Day” on the 29th of October this year another French film “Abuse of weakness” tackles the trials and tribulations of life in the aftermath of a stroke.
12 Jul, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
9 Jul, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
Between the doctor and the patient, there is a void; a chasm of the unknown, territories of wild terrain, fertile for a relationship to grow, to nurture and become a healing.
The healing. The healing comes as an ending; a termination of the settlement of the pain identified by the bearer being recognised by the observer.
25 May, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
A few weeks ago, in the city of Belgrade, I sat alongside some of the most eminent of ethicists in current biomedical debate, and discussed the morals of enhancing humans.
In light of our scientific and technological development of the means to cause our own final destruction, for our survival, it was argued, we need to enhance our morality, through therapeutic interventions that lead to morally-enhanced motives. Otherwise, we will just become what we become. By virtue of the nature of such therapeutic interventions, subsequently, there will no longer be any need for the reflections of whom we are.
So, too, will the narratives of our writers, our poets, our artists be executed and belong only to a death that cannot speak of our existential disclosures.
23 May, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
CALL FOR PAPERS AND WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT
ILLNESS, NARRATIVE, AND PHENOMENOLOGY
Tuesday 9 July 2013
Faculty of Arts & Institute for Advanced Studies
University of Bristol
Keynote speaker: Prof Brian Hurwitz (King’s College London)
26 Feb, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
Having had the privilege to meet with Professor Swartz, I read his most recent book publication, ‘Able-Bodied – Scenes from a curious life’ with the jovial sounds of his uncanny ability to reflect on human nature and experiences in the background.
I certainly found Professor Swartz’ presence evident in the somewhat apologetic way he introduces and describes his family, as if telling a story and telling a secret amount to a similar thing. Yet, his words behold a compassion and gentleness that even the greatest of sentiments often fail to display.
10 Feb, 13 | by Ayesha Ahmad
There has been continuous and vigorous debate about the theory and practice of medical humanities but only recently have questions been raised about the content and aims of the field in a global context. For example, in December 2011, Claire Hooker and Estelle Noonan published a paper entitled ‘Medical Humanities as Expressive of Western Culture’ in Medical Humanities. Based on their consultations with scholars in a range of Asian countries, they suggest that some curricula have been inappropriately influenced by Western medical history and the Western medical and artistic canon. This is not to deny that some Asian medical and non-medical faculties have long traditions of scholarship in social, cultural and historical dimensions of health and medicine. In spite of the diverse ethnic origins of professional healthcare students in the West, Western medical humanities has sometimes been, in effect, parochial. But those of us who have engaged in practical medical humanities teaching know that the motivations of all students, and their reactions to medical humanities, are diverse.