Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: health

  • White Australia: How white healthcare has affected Indigenous Australians

    Brittany Suann Western Australia   Rural Australia. Photo by author. Australian healthcare is among the best, and Australia boasts the eighth lowest mortality rates in the world.1 For Indigenous Australians, however, health outcomes are 2.3 times worse than for non-Indigenous Australians.1 This gap is stark and is evident in mortality rates, the life expectancy at…

  • Book review: A Brief History of Ayurveda

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom Ayurveda translates from the Sanskrit as “the science of life and longevity.” It originated over 4,000 years ago as a system of healing in the Indian subcontinent, where it flourished until the nineteenth century. The Harappan civilization in the Indus valley around 2000 BC saw its early roots in India.…

  • Bloody women

    M.K.K. Hague-YearlMontréal, Québec, Canada Sitting with little fanfare inside a twentieth-century red hardcover binding is a single leaf whose bibliographic record contains brackets of uncertainty: “[Calendar for Austria, 1496.] [Kaspar Hochfeder, Nürnberg? 1495.]” The catalogue offers only a basic description: “The woodcut occupying the whole lower portion depicts a zodiac man, two bloodletting scenes, a…

  • Health, wellness, and their determinants

    Travis KirkwoodOttawa, Ontario, Canada John Snow is often referred to as the father of modern epidemiology. His work is certainly worthy of this1 and present-day public health2 still strives toward upstream approaches, primordial prevention, and redress on the social determinants of health. It seems however that the core lessons from John Snow back in 1854 have…

  • Fat by choice: A quest for meaning

    Amer ToutonjiCharleston, South Carolina, USA An early bird, Brian wakes up no later than 5:30 am to get on with the first meal of the day: twelve eggs and ten sausages, or their equivalent. Most recently weighing in at 530 pounds, Bryan, or Bull, as he likes to be called, is constantly outgrowing his clothes…

  • Clean eating and orthorexia as technologies of the self

    Cristina Hanganu-Bresch Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA   Photo by Dan Gold from Burst. Licensed under Creative Commons As numerous social and traditional media outlets and ads constantly remind us, our diets must be “clean”—a vague descriptor whose fuzzy boundaries can fit a plethora of surrogate terms: organic, natural, whole, non-GMO, unprocessed, gluten free, vegan, sugar-free, fat-free,…

  • Life savings

    Daniel Moran Webster, New Hampshire, United States     Aging is the bank which accepts deposits, and will not ever give them back. But it does have its tiny catalogue of compensations. I recall those ancient days when opening that account might earn you a new toaster or blender, a set of steak knives.This week,…

  • Bari in the seventh cholera pandemic

    Salvatore BarbutiMoro, Italy Domenico MartinelliRosa PratoFoggia, Italy It all began on a quiet warm afternoon in August 1973 when an infectious diseases specialist called his friend in public health and hesitantly asked for a test on stool sample for a patient whom he believed could be infected with cholera. The public health man laughed and…