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patient stories

Medicine Unboxed 2011: Medicine and Values, Cheltenham UK 15 October 2011

5 Apr, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Good medicine is more than a set of technical decisions and interventions involving drugs, operations or tests. It demands more of the practitioner – professionalism, empathetic care, moral consideration, insight, an understanding of human suffering and necessarily, wisdom. These attributes are not always prioritised in selecting for or training healthcare professionals, and there is little time or attention given to their authentic development within busy working environments. Further, there is a widening hiatus of trust, understanding and expectation between medicine and society around what constitutes good medicine. This pressingly requires real engagement around medicine’s role and society’s values. A purely scientific answer will never prove sufficient here.

Medicine Unboxed is a unique project and conference programme that engages both the public and front-line NHS staff with a view of medicine that is infused and elaborated by the humanities. Contributors include artists, writers, the clergy, poets, philosophers, lawyers, linguists, musicians, theatre, ethicists, academics and doctors. The results are thought-provoking, inspiring, sometimes funny and often
moving.

Our theme this year is Medicine and Values.

We think of medicine as simply fact-based, efficient and scientifically robust. These arbiters can become the measures of good medicine. However, medicine is infused with judgments of value – individually for doctors and patients but also in medical science, for society, for policy-makers and health economists. Ethics, law and religion inform duties and rights in medicine, through principles and values. The values that define good medicine are not always apparent or agreed upon and there remains the potential for tension between them.

We’d like to invite you to come along to Medicine Unboxed 2011 and join us in uncovering the values that pertain to medical care and debating the ambivalences around the arbiters of good medicine. Our speakers this year include the Rev. John Bell, John Carey, Lionel Shriver, Jo Shapcott, Ray Tallis, Paul Bailey, Michael
Arditti and Havi Carel.

Come to the debate – be inspired.

Sam Guglani, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.

http://medicineunboxed.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=040c885489432f9ea79fbd23b&id=f00835b9f4&e=1767bdcee5

Oncologist Sam Guglani wonders what medical care really means

30 Mar, 11 | by Deborah Kirklin

Care infuses medicine. Well, the word ‘care’ infuses the language of medicine – Healthcare, Intensive Care, Palliative Care, Standard care, Standard of care, Best supportive care, Care Quality Commission. But what actually is medical care? more…

‘The Other Side of the Fence’ by Michael Corbo

11 Nov, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

Medical student Michael Corbo reflects on what he’s learnt from being a patient.

I am sitting on a green chair in the waiting room. I have been sitting here for hours, but it feels like it has been days. I keep looking at the clock on the wall beside me. The room is filled with people, but all I can hear is the resounding ‘tick tock’ coming from my right side. A thousand beads of sweat start to develop on my forehead, one for every thought racing through my mind.

“Michael Corbo!” My heart stops. “The doctor is ready for you now.” more…

Hearing Voices

1 Oct, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Perhaps, one form of illness where telling a story of the body is most evident is in respect to mental health.

Yesterday’s ruling by the High Court’s Court of Protection, that a 69 year old lady with severe schizophrenia must receive the medical treatment for a prolapsed womb, which she has been strongly refusing and protesting against, reveals the battle that one person’s voice can hold.

Is it pathology to not fight the presence of pathology in the body?

more…

Artist Mark Gilbert and his Portraits of Care: Medical Humanities’ Editors Choice

28 Jul, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

Anyone lucky enough to have come across or been engaged with Mark Gilbert’s work in the Changing Faces exhibition will be pleased to hear that more of his work is now publicly available.

http://mh.bmj.com/content/suppl/2010/06/23/36.1.5.DC1/MH_Appendix_003780.pdf

One of Mark’s paintings, Jarad, featured on the cover of the June issue of Medical Humanities and I would urge you to go on-line and to take time to look this extraordinary portrait. If you do, then I suspect that the experience  will be profound, and, depending perhaps on your perspective and your experiences, even a little disturbing. For some of you this will be the first time you have born witness to someone else’s experience of illness, and you may be struck by the introspective quality of Jarad’s portrait. Others will already know more than they wish to about being ill or of caring for someone who is ill. more…

Clinical Ethics Conference: London 8-9th July 2010

13 Jun, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

On the 8th and 9th of July 2010 the Faculty of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University will be hosting a pioneering conference focusing on Best Practices in Clinical Ethics Consultation and Decision Making. For the first time in the UK, this conference will bring together an international and inter-professional dialogue between different stakeholders with the aim of fostering and developing best practice in clinical ethics consultation and decision-making across all sectors of healthcare. more…

Memories

5 Jun, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Memories

This piece is a reflection on an article from the New York Times this week. The story is told about a large family from Colombia, and their many relatives who have developed early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The case has been baffling doctors and scientists, both in Colombia and the United States.

more…

Blue lights and all: the paradox at the heart of being a doctor

22 Apr, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

This week, life as a general practitioner has been a little too exciting for my liking, and far too eventful for my patients- young and old- around whom this unnecessary and unwelcome excitement has centred. Twice in as many days I’ve had to call, in the middle of a surgery, for an ambulance, and to answer yes to the question of whether I want it to be an all dancing all singing blue lights flashing affair. more…

It’s A Suffered Life

17 Apr, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

This is an account of a woman, herself severely injured during an attack in Sudan and who witnessed the murder of her babe.

It’s A Suffered Life

Gilded grace

Upon

Darkness.

Tomorrow’s Heart

Becomes the custom for sorrow.

Fragmented faces

Forgetting

The

Eyes of those who

Beg to look afar. more…

The Landscape of Lesotho

10 Apr, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Lesotho is one of the highest countries and is entirely landlocked by South Africa. 40% of Lesotho’s population survives on less than $1.25 a day. In centuries gone by, the people of Lesotho were driven high up into the mountains by the Xhosa and Zulu people and have repeated a solitary and isolated life, mainly farming, ever since. However, Lesotho is also experiencing one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDs infection rates in the world. This is their modern day crisis. What does survival mean in this situation? How can we conform to a meaning of being human when our human situations differ so dramatically?

more…

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