In these uncertain economic times there seems to be a growing nostalgia for the more simple things in life. Home baking and dressmaking is on the rise and many families are anticipating a less commercialised festive get together. Although some of this return to basics is undoubtedly driven by economic imperatives, anecdotal evidence seems to […]
Rubens and the art of observation: a dying clinical skill?
Peter Paul Rubens. Helene Fourment in a fur wrap (Het Pelsken). c.1635. Oil on panel, 176×83 cm. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum. Do you ever really look at your patients? I mean really, really, look, so carefully that you’re in danger of making both of you feel uncomfortable? And if you do, do you look with the eye of […]
Understanding childhood obesity:the Wellcome Trust film and video archive goes digital
I’m grateful to Christy Henshaw for letting me know about an exciting new project from the Wellcome Trust. So far about 100 films from the Trust’s vast archive of film and video have been digitalised and can be viewed by anyone, free-of-charge, on-line. A brief glance at the titles led me to a fascinating insight […]
Mad, bad or simply sad: a medical humanities look at mental health legislation
Vincent Van Gogh. Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889. London, Courtauld Institute Gallery. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/artistBiography?artistID=301 This month the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2007 came into force in England and Wales. This Act, which amends the MHA 1983, is just the latest in a series of Acts of Parliament that form part of an on-going search for […]
The Birmingham Children’s Hospital: the day the silent scream got noisy
http://www.munch.museum.no/content.aspx?id=15 This week a leading national paper in the UK broke news of what has been rightly called a medical scandal. They revealed the existence of a report into the systemic inadequacies of management systems at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The impact of these failings on the standard of care provided by the hospital are now […]
December 2008 issue of MH: what’s new?
The next issue of MH, to be published in December, will be the first for the new editorial team and so represents a milestone of sorts in the history of the journal. Some of the planned developments will already be evident in this issue, including for instance both an art review and a music review. […]
Abortion: Response to a Letter to The Times, 17th October 2008
In a letter published today in The Times Newspaper a group of Medical Law and Ethics academics call for the UK’s Abortion Act to be modernised. Whilst I welcome this contribution to the on-going debate about the provision of abortion services in the UK, I am concerned by the focus on the suggested paternalistic role of doctors […]
Symposium:The Use of the Arts in Medical Training London 21.11.08.
I want to bring your attention to this one day symposium on the use of the arts in medical training. The setting for the symposium- the Barts and London- is an inspiration in itself. The format for the day invites the delegates to draw on and share their own experiences and ideas as well as […]
World economic events: their implications for health
As I write, much of the information rich world is focussed on the precarious state of the highly interrelated global financial structures. For many others, the daily struggle to survive, coupled with lack of access to minute-to-minute updates about these unsettling events, means they remain unaware of the economic drama unfolding around the world. This, unfortunately, will […]
“Cancer Tales”: Live Theatre and Lively Debate, Royal Society of Medicine, London, 10th October 2008
Organised by their student section, this evening will undoubtedly prove one of the highlights of the RSM’s busy programme of events. Publicity material for the meeting promises an opportunity to “explore emotion and communication in a medical setting through theatre”. This enticing and still relatively novel approach to medical educational meetings will hopefully attract both the converts and […]