Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Medical ethics

  • The sophia and phronesis of modern medicine

    Meaghan O’Connor Durham, North Carolina, United States   The Doctor. Luke Fildes, 1891. Tate Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia.  My first clinical experience was working as a hospice aide my sophomore year of college. During that experience I watched my first patient suffer—physically and spiritually—and eventually die. Not bound by the time constraints of more formal…

  • Faith in medicine

    Tyler Beauchamp Augusta, Georgia, United States    Photo by Sven Piper on Unsplash. When I was in college, I worked for a nursing unit in the trauma ward. One patient had been in a horrible car accident and barely survived. I visited her for the better part of two weeks before she began to improve.…

  • The Citadel and the Dilemma: Medicine corrupted

    Simon WeinPetach Tikvah, Israel Ethical behaviour of doctors is a timeless issue. A recent television investigation in Australia looked at legal but hardly ethical behaviour of doctors performing plastic surgery.1 Two books, a novel and a play written a century ago, remind us that problems with medical ethics are not new under the sun. A.J.…

  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition: medical ethics in uncharted territory

    David Blitzer New York, New York, United States Alvise Guariento Toronto, Ontario, Canada Robert M. Sade Charleston, South Carolina, United States   Detail of “Lewis & Clark at Three Forks,” mural in lobby of Montana House of Representatives. Mural by Edgar Samuel Paxson. Via Wikimedia  In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with the backing of…

  • Memories of a West Virginia coal camp

    Calvin KuninColumbus, Ohio, United States This is a brief account of my experience as a physician at a coal mining camp in rural West Virginia. It is based on my memory of events that took place almost seventy years ago but remain vivid in my mind. The adventure began the day I graduated from medical…

  • Book review: Casanova’s Guide to Medicine

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of Casanova’s Guide to Medicine by Lisetta Lovett. The eighteenth-century Italian Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798) is today best remembered for legendary amorous pursuits that resulted in his name becoming a part of the English language. What has been forgotten, however, is that he was a remarkable and erudite…

  • First principles

    Charles G. KelsSan Antonio, Texas, United States The law of war is enshrined in treaties but steeped in blood. In 1859, a young Swiss businessman was traveling through Italy when a savage battle between French and Austrian forces commenced. Seeing “how many unfortunate men were left behind, lying helpless on the naked ground in their…

  • Clara Maass, yellow fever, and the early days of ethical medical testing

    Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Clara Louise Maass portrait. Credit: National Museum of Health and Medicine. CC BY 2.0. Clara Maass was born on June 28, 1876, in the quiet New Jersey township of East Orange. The oldest daughter of Hedwig and Robert E. Maass, she grew up helping to raise and provide…

  • Is healthcare a right?

    Ronald Pies Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Introduction In this paper, I examine the question of whether healthcare is regarded as a “basic human right” in the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Though…

  • Has medicine lost the ethics battle?

    Patrick D. Guinan   This article was first published in the May 1998 issue of Linacre Quarterly 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…