Is there meaning in a world without human limitation? Is there value in human finitude?
In this week’s presentations, there was some mention that a healthcare provider needs to see him/herself as the patient’s hope. What is the role of hope in medicine and healthcare? Does hope not make us more vulnerable?
We began this week’s classes with a reference to the Haitian myth of Anacaona, the Golden Flower. At the end of the recent Candler concert dedicated to this great goddess, a member of the audience rose to address the musician and the poet on stage. She introduced herself as a Grady trauma ward nurse, and thanked the artists for sharing their art, stating that immersing herself in the beauty of music and poetry was her way of coming to terms with the death of her patients when sadly that happened. She said that the arts allowed her to hold their hands and to be with them when medicine could go no further. Reflect on this as you analyze the echoes of sorrow and pain that we experienced this week in art, hymn, poetry, music, theater, and class performance.
Do not forget to go back to your initial group work in class, many weeks ago, when you reacted to the question “what does sorrow look like?” that I scanned and placed in the same “Class Teaching Tools” conference on Google. Besides the multiple exemplifications of the Stabat Mater theme, also include the poem by Emily Dickinson. If feasible, you are welcome to incorporate the last sculpture we touched upon: the ancient Roman sculpture illustrating an old woman, an alcoholic.
Some critics of (radical) environmentalism argue that as our concern for the environment increases, so does our neglect for the human poor. What do you think? Does the way we define “environment” influence how it ought to be included in the study and practice of medicine and public health?