Tag Archives: Spring 2010


Johanna Shapiro   A well dressed skeleton Photograph by Caley McIntyre Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School, Chicago, Illinois Class of 2011 and Mexico Fulbright-Garcia Robles Alum, 2009 http://caleyelguero.wordpress.com Neighbors   Death is not my lover – that would be morbid – nor even my best friend – though some say he can be that – […]

A Web of Days – This is a Test – Not Again

Joannie Stangeland   Poet’s Statement: Joannie Stangeland wrote these poems for a friend who was fighting breast cancer. Her friend didn’t need help with cooking or driving—and Joannie wanted to support her in some way, so she wrote. What began as one poem flooded into a collection of about 20, and the poems helped Joannie […]

An Eliotian journey through suffering

Francesco Enia Palermo, Italy A cold coming we had of it just the worst time of the year for a journey and such a long journey the ways deep and the weather sharp -TS Eliot, “Journey of the Magi” The dizziness again … stunning images … A child with no hope of a cure, affected […]

Plague Sydney 1900

Barry R. Catchlove Sydney   Introduction Bubonic plague has been the most feared disease throughout history. Most people are aware of its ravages but see it as a pestilence of the middle ages. Few are aware that it remains a disease of the twenty-first century, is endemic in many parts of the developed and underdeveloped […]

The castrati: a physician’s perspective, part 1

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   A modified version of this paper was presented on March 1, 2010 to the Chicago Literary Club. “The castrati: a physician’s perspective” will appear in two installments. The first one in this issue details the history, sociology and musical history relevant to the rise of the castrato in […]

Doctor Moore on 18th century medicine

Einar Perman Stockholm, Sweden John Moore (1729-1802) was a Scottish physician, who traveled extensively in Europe and published several books about his travels.1,2 He was also an astute observer of people, customs, and places, and his opinions were often ahead of his time, particularly in matters of contemporary medicine and the medical profession. His book, […]

Rethinking public health law and ethics – a regional perspective

Nadav Davidovitch Beer Sheva, Israel   Public health emerged as an organized discipline during the 19th century with the goal of improving the health of a nation as a whole. While its initial interests centered on infectious diseases, sanitation, and hygiene, its current health scope has grown to include issues such as health promotion, the […]

Reader’s response: Is it ethical to bring religion into medicine?

JMS Pearce London, England   Dr. Patrick Guinan raises many important issues in his paper “Is it ethical to bring religion into medicine?” in Hektoen International, Volume 2, No 1 – Winter 2010. He says that “a new religion called complementary or alternative medicine is threatening his territory.” Though I share his implied views of […]

Informed choice versus informed consent

George L. Spaeth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA   Before initiating an action that may harm a patient, it is customary to obtain informed consent, with the generally accepted purpose of respecting the patient’s autonomy and protecting the person initiating the action: “Obtaining patients’ consent . . . demonstrates respect for patient autonomy and should help prevent […]

Lithotripsy: a historical review

Rabie Abdel-Halim Riyadh, Saudi Arabia   Fig. 2: The pincer used by Al-Razi to grasp and break off pieces of a large vesical stone (shown in the illustrated 30th section of Al Tasrif book of Al-Zahrawi). Fig. 1: Title page of the 10th volume of Al-Razi book: Kitab Al-Hawi Fi Al-Tibb (The Continens) Although lithotripsy1 is […]