Published in Chicago by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine
Volume 1, Issue 3 – April 2009.
Cannibalism: Just What the Doctor Ordered
Carole A. Travis Henikoff
It may come as a surprise to many that their ancestors practiced cannibalism, especially when some scholars deny cannibalism ever happened. Yet the truth is, we all have cannibals in our closet. Throughout history human beings have consumed human flesh for various reasons.
African Miniature of Cannibal Victim
Diagnosing Defectives: Disability, Gender and Eugenics in the United States, 1910-1924
Sara Vogt, MS, Ph.D. Candidate
The science of eugenics developed in countries around the world such as Great Britain, the United States, and Germany during the second half of the nineteenth century as a means of fighting emergent public health and social problems like tuberculosis, prostitution, and the so-called degeneration of the race. The word “eugenic” springs from the Greek words “eu” meaning good and “gen” meaning born – together denoting “well-born.” The aim of eugenics was to change the behavior of the general public through voluntary or coercive means in order to increase the number of “well-born” individuals, thereby improving the health and ultimate strength of the nation. More…
Art and Medicine
Medicine and Literature
Saul Bellow’s Doctor Adler: The Achieving Medical Father and His Non-Achieving Son
Solomon Posen, MD
This paper concerns itself with the portrayal of Doctor Adler who, significantly, is not a share broker or a real estate agent but a prominent and highly respected retired internist whose unsympathetic behavior towards his non-achieving son is due, at least in part, to his medical background. More…
Grumpy Doctors and the Short Story
Tony Miksanek, MD
Three short stories, “The Use of Force,” “Brute,” and “The Steel Windpipe,” sizzle with the tension between grumpy doctors, tough patients, and worried family members. They are all doctor stories – brief tales written by practicing physicians and narrated from the doctor’s point-of-view – where good intentions somehow lead to big trouble. More…
Socrates on Clinical Excellence
George Dunea, MD
Originally published in The Lancet
The year is 410 B.C., Socrates and the physician Democedes are walking in a shady grove,
on the road to Megara. The topic of discussion is the achievement of excellence in clinical medicine.
Can excellence be taught, is it acquired through practice, or is there another way? And if indeed excellence can be taught, should our young be instructed by the teachers of the academy or by the physicians who practice the art of healing the sick? More…
From the Grotesque to the Sublime: Innovations in Nursing Education
Judith Frei, RN, MS
From the Grotesque to the Sublime describes my efforts to incorporate the sciences and visual arts in nursing education using two very unusual academic settings: the morgue and the art museum. More…
Has Medicine Lost the Ethics Battle?
Patrick D. Guinan, M.D., M.P.H.
Originally published in Linacre Quarterly, May 1998
Modern medicine began with the Greeks and has developed over the past 2,500 years. Medical ethics, which was also initiated by the Greeks, and summarized in the Hippocratic Oath, has guided the moral actions of the physician in his medical practice for the past two and one half millennia. Recently, however, there have been profound changes in bioethics, not only in how the basic Hippocratic cannon is understood, but also in who interprets the code. The purpose of this essay is to explain why the clinical decision-making role of the physician has been overshadowed by ethical theories and ethical specialists. More…