Tag Archives: death

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EPIDEMICS Published in March, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   . The recent coronavirus outbreak inevitably brings to mind the Spanish flu, the deadly influenza pandemic of a century ago. Here we republish seven articles about this devastating viral disease that spread to the four corners of the world, killing […]

Blood is NOT the essence of life?

Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1: Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic […]

Avant garde research on a blood substitute at the Hektoen Institute of Medical Research

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   From Left to Right: Gerald S Moss MD, Richard Brinkman MD, Lakshman Sehgal PhD, Robert Forest DVM. June 1975, photograph of the team with the first baboon resuscitated with stroma free hemoglobin after being bled down to a hemoglobin concentration of zero. Photo taken by the author. The […]

Embalming

The practice of embalming the dead goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians, who wanted to ensure that they arrived in the afterworld in a presentable state as well as having their sarcophagi and pyramids provided with all the necessities required for that long journey. The page shown here is from The Champion Text […]

Sleep

Sophia Wilson New Zealand   Photo by Snapwire on Pexels The fabric of sleep descends like a tired paw, turns off our lights, offers mouth-to-mouth oblivion. For a while we can pretend we’re like stars and that we don’t reside here anymore, between impossible grindstones and the birth-death quandary; We drift weightless as falling leaves, […]

Some subjects are given

Michael Salcman Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Self-portrait with fiddling Death. Arnold Böcklin. 1872. Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin   Some subjects are given to the authors of poems and songs, of mechanical puzzles and lives, given over and over like a spiking fever in an old TB ward or the low level irritation of a cancer […]

A quiet night

Henry Bair Palo Alto, California, United States   University College Hospital, London: the outpatients’ waiting room and dispensary. Wood engraving, 1872. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY It was the end of the week, the middle of the night, and the beginning of my ER shift. All was quiet, and I was studying at the nurses’ […]

Gilgamesh and medicine’s quest to conquer death

Anika Khan Karachi, Pakistan   The warrior king Gilgamesh grasping a lion in his left hand, and a snake in his right. (Assyrian palace relief on display in the Louvre) “O Uta-napishti, what should I do and where should I go? A thief has taken hold of my [flesh!] For there in my bed-chamber Death […]

Ushers of life

Genevieve Kupsky Washington, D.C. USA   Our obligation to our patients continues into the sunset of their lives. The sun sets on the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C. in springtime. Photographer: Rami Halaseh “You are on holy ground. Time is sacred, and the veil is thin.” The chaplain left the newly-oriented volunteers with these words […]

The other kingdom

Jamie Samson Dublin, Ireland   Death and life by Gustav Klimt. The radical “otherness” of death is a fixture of art history, as illustrated here in Klimt’s ‘Death and Life’. 1915. Leopold Museum, Vienna “Everyone who is born,” Susan Sontag wrote in Illness as Metaphor, “holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and […]