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Catastrophism and Control

A wise man knows that he must put things into perspective, but a still wiser man knows what perspective to put them into. A doctor who tells the widow of a patient who has just died that, after all, her husband’s was only one of 2,800,000 deaths a year in the United States alone (56,000,000 . . . . Continue Reading »

Bodily Curiosities

I am not altogether incurious, but one entity about which I have over the years felt little curiosity is my own body. Until recently, I could not have told you the function of my, or anyone else’s, pancreas, spleen, or gallbladder. I’d just as soon not have known that I have kidneys, and was . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

The End is Music:  A Companion to Robert W. Jenson’s Theology by chris e. w. green cascade, 107 pages, $17 We are still in the first stage of the reception of Robert ­Jenson’s theology, but Chris E. W. Green has emerged as one of the most thoughtful and active Jensonians. The End is . . . . Continue Reading »

Letter to an Aspiring Doctor

You tell me you are thinking, my dear Stephen, of medicine as a career, but you wonder whether you have the ability or the temperament for it. You say that you have wanted to be a doctor ever since your family practitioner visited you at home as a child when you had severe tonsillitis. He seemed a . . . . Continue Reading »

Card-Carrying Precadavers

It has been almost twenty years since I dissected a dead human body. It still seems strange: My first encounter with a human body to learn the art of healing was an encounter with a corpse. What is more, I took this body to pieces. In any other context, this act would have been a felony. Respect for . . . . Continue Reading »

Healing the Dying

At our annual reunions, my brother and sisters and I often joked that we flew home every year because “this might be Grandpa’s last.” We wanted to be sure to say one final goodbye. The odd thing was, we had been saying this for twenty years. Grandpa just didn’t seem to die. And as the clock . . . . Continue Reading »

The Terminators

Canada’s pending legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide raises a question: What shall we call people who are legally involved in the destruction of human life—particularly those who do the actual killing? Shall we call them medical executioners? They are indeed executioners, as none can . . . . Continue Reading »

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