Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: smoking

  • Nikolai Medtner: his forgotten melodies, music, and life

    Michael YafiHouston, Texas, United States The music of Nikolai Medtner (1880 -1951) is among the most enigmatic of the piano repertoire. Medtner was an opinionated composer who admired Rachmaninoff and rejected all attempts at modernism in music. Rachmaninoff met Medtner in Russia and the two composers had a mutual admiration for one another. Rachmaninoff told…

  • The doctor behind the labcoat

    Varun Raj Passi Bangalore, India   “Sanjeev’s Phantasms” by Chetna VM. Sanjeev knew he was not asleep, and the very fact that he was conscious enough to know this made him worry. The relentless clicking of the wall-clock above his bedstead amplified his anxiety. He knew that the more clicks he registered now, the less…

  • The history of polio and cigarettes, and the need for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

    Daniel GelfmanIndianapolis, Indiana, United States Depicted in this display (Picture 1) at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia are technologic marvels. The first is a box that contained early vials of Dr. Salk’s formalin inactive polio vaccine (with supplementary irradiation). The second is a matchbook, originally invented in the 1890s, that made another technologic marvel…

  • Covid-19 and the mind: a short play

    Catalina FlorescuHoboken, New Jersey, United States Characters: LOLA, late 40’s TORA, mid 40’s Setting: Two apartments in NYC. Imagine the dialogue happening in two balconies or, for a more absurd take, the same apartment divided by French doors. Time: During the historic plague of 2020. Notes on acting: These women are neighbors. They are also…

  • On your doctor’s orders

    Alexandria Szalanczy Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States   “More Doctors” Advertisment. Camel Cigarettes. 1946. Released and uploaded by the Food and Drug Association, https://www.flickr.com/photos/fdaphotos/7029895715. Long before physicians faced a nation crippled by an opioid crisis, their predecessors lived and worked in a nation dominated by cigarettes. By 1953, 47% of Americans smoked cigarettes, including half…

  • Taking a History in the ICU: Social: Does your husband still smoke?

    Sophia Valesca Görgens Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash He smokes when he thinks I’m not looking, she tells me, then glances at him as if expecting him to contradict her but the ventilator is pressed to his face and his eyes are lidded dim with midazolam for sedation, fentanyl…

  • George Orwell and the ethics of dealing in or dealing with cigarettes

    Lynn T. KozlowskiBuffalo, NY, United States Early in World War II, George Orwell wrote the essay “England, my England,” commenting that as he was writing “highly civilized human beings” were flying overhead trying to kill him: They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are ‘only doing…

  • Mrs. Collins and the Body Snatchers

    Michael EllmanChicago, Illinois, United States In the morning the Medicine Consultation Service clears patients so they can undergo surgery. Fees from the operating rooms are the cash cow that drives the hospital. We read the electrocardiograms and declare no ischemia, lower the blood sugar with quick acting insulin, treat the hypokalemia with 20 milli-equivalents of…

  • The man who could not stop smoking!

    Ravi ShankarAruba, Kingdom of the Netherlands He was dark and swarthy, around five foot four. His posture was slightly stooped and the muscles of his upper arm and torso were becoming flabby. His hair was unkempt and he had stubble on his face and neck. He was around thirty-five but looked older and had streaks…