Tag Archives: Palliative Care

Letting go of logic

Nimisha Bajaj Columbus, Ohio, United States   Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci. Photo by Paris Orlando. November 2019. Public Domain “He’s here for aspiration pneumonia. He doesn’t want a G-tube even though we tried to explain to him that if he continues to eat and drink by mouth, this will keep happening and he will […]

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 […]

A form of pain

Ifediba Nzube Port Harcourt, Nigeria   Èsù the trickster by Onyeji Prince. For Yewande, pain is Èsù slapping her head like a bata drum. But no one sees that; they see only a tumor pushing out her left eye, up her palate, and through her nostrils. Most days she smells like meat gone green. The […]

The book that galvanized a health care transformation

Sherrie Dulworth New York, USA   Dulworth, Sherrie. On Death and Dying Changed the Health Care Conversation. March 22, 2019. Mount Kisco, New York. One of the major health care sea changes of the past half-century did not originate from the usual sources of scientific research, technological development, or even clinical trial-and-error. Instead, a book […]

Poppy power

John Graham-Pole Gainesville, Florida, USA   Dr. Graham-Pole with cancer patient, Bridget. At the time of the photo, Bridget had life-threatening cancer requiring opioids, and is now a successful artist. Author photo. The poppy’s juice . . .brings the sleep to dear Mama — Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse for Good Children   In Xanadu […]

PEACH: Providing end of life care for the homeless

Lea Mendes Lisbon, Portugal   Retired homeless fisherman (Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Wikipedia Commons) Homeless people make up a Fourth World population in industrialized as well as developing countries. Homelessness creates a higher risk for disease and premature death. An innovative Canadian program provides care for those who are homeless at the end of life, […]

Emily Dickinson and medical ethics: the “Belle of Amherst” as ethicist

Bonnie Salomon Illinois, USA   It is a conceit of many a reader to interpret poetry as it affects their daily life. It certainly is a fancy of this reader, pouring over Emily Dickinson’s poems as a literary respite. While teaching a medical ethics course at a local college this past autumn, I stumbled onto […]

And a time to die

Katherine Arnup Ottawa, Canada   “You’re going to be an expert at this by the time you’re done with me,” my sister joked, shortly before her death from cancer at 51. “Maybe,” I protested, “but I don’t want to learn it from you.” Four years later, I began volunteering at a hospice near my home. […]

Miriam’s stoicism

Elizabeth Neglia Durham, North Carolina, United States   Anne Todd Hochberg Chromogenic print 6”x 9” “Refused?” I asked incredulously. She’s in pain on her deathbed. Why would she refuse? Sarah, the night nurse, sleepily rejoined, “I told Miriam to take it, but she won’t. I don’t get it either.” It was 7 am. Sarah was […]

Three Visits

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Prelude She rings at the recommendation of a colleague who knows my interest in lung cancer and palliative care. “It is about my father, doctor.” I suggest that she brings me his films and tests for a briefing before I get to meet him. We arrange an appointment, and she […]