Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: article

  • Emily, Usher, and American Gothic perspectives on mortality

    Olga ReykhartLiam ButchartStony Brook, New York, United States In an editorial for Medical Humanities, Gillie Bolton notes that death is a common theme in literature and also in medicine. She writes, “Death, dying, and bereavement are dark threads running through all literature. Not only are they life’s sole certainties, along with birth; they are also…

  • The 1918 Pandemic—the collective story versus the personal narrative

    Mariella ScerriMellieha, Malta Stalin’s claim that a “single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic”1 reverberates at a time when the world is gripped by fear as it tries to come to terms with a pandemic caused by the latest novel coronavirus, SARS-COV-2. Throughout history, humanity has had to contend with new…

  • Is Mary Seacole the new mother of nursing?

    Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta   Sketch of Mary Seacole by Crimean war artist William Simpson (1823–1899), c. 1855. Source. The promotion of Jamaican businesswoman and “doctress” Mary Seacole as the pioneer nurse in place of Florence Nightingale was given considerable credence early in 2013, when Seacole was named a “pioneer of health care” by the UK Department…

  • Blood type and personality

    Nonoko KamaiNagoya, Japan Why do Japanese people believe in a relationship between blood type and personality? Beginning in the 1970s, the blood type personality hypothesis became fashionable in Japan and it is still popular today.5 A women’s magazine focusing on the topic once sold seven billion copies and there are still fortune telling books based…

  • All blood runs red

    Mel DiomampoHouston, TX The American Red Cross (ARC) is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other disasters. Based on the Geneva Convention of 1949, its work primarily consists of responding to emergencies, promoting international humanitarian law, and implementing it. Red Cross Stimulated by the global Red…

  • Anne McLaren, transfusion, transplantation, and the nature of blood

    Matthew HolmesCambridge, UK Anne McLaren, Oxford-trained zoologist and first female Officer of the Royal Society, once claimed that “History may be circular, but the history of science is helical: it repeats itself, but each time at a deeper level.”1 To see the helical nature of the history of science in action, we need look no…

  • Blood donation in South Sudan

    Ahmed ElhagLatham, New York, United States When discussing the many challenges surrounding blood donation in South Sudan people tend to focus primarily on infrastructural barriers such as limited health care facilities and lack of investment and medical supplies. However, one important barrier that is often overlooked is the cultural stigma around blood donations. Many people…

  • Bloodlust: The embodiment of the uncanny in “The Vampyre”

    Emily ClineMontréal, QC, Canada Upon her neck and breast was blood, and upon her throat were the marks of teeth having opened the vein:—to this the men pointed, crying, simultaneously struck with horror, “A Vampyre! a Vampyre!” — The Vampyre, John William Polidori With this image Polidori introduces the conventions of the modern vampire story.…

  • Blood and bandages

    Patricia A. UnsworthBolton, England, United Kingdom The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one might imagine. Todd was obviously a…

  • The oncologist’s mask

    Prasad IyerTimah Road, Singapore As a pediatric oncologist I have learned to put on an invisible mask before seeing my patients and their parents. I try to bring them some cheer and keep the enveloping darkness at bay, if only for a moment. The mask is also a shield to protect myself, lest my face…