What can be as morbid as a discussion on mortality? While artists and writers may find it romantic, doctors for the large part don’t like any serious discourse on death. Right ? Well, not quite. Counterintuitive as it may seem, when advances in health and care have seen longevity at an all time high and going higher yet, we have started seeing more and more concerns about mortality and end of life issues. From bestsellers’ Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie and Randy Pausch’s The Last lecture, we’ve learnt to confront the inevitable with grace and dignity. With all this, can our fraternity be far behind. Over the last few years, we have had some deeply insightful writing. Atul Gawande’s recent book- Being Mortal is a wonderful recent example- an important book on a topic becoming increasingly relevant. Here are a few others; letters, poems, videos that examine different facets of mortality.
Peter Saul- Let’s talk about dying
Australian intensive care specialist uses the TED platform to raise important questions on the decisions surrounding end of life.
Vivek Hande- RIP, Dear warrior…
Indian gastroenterologist pens this ode to a cherished patient.
Oliver Sacks- My own Life
Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks confronts the news of inevitable..
Danielle Ofri- Patients need poetry and…so do doctors
This one is a double bonanza- New York physician and writer Danielle Ofri writes on Poetry and doctors while introducing Rafael Campo and his poem. The multiple links in this article are a treat in themselves..
Pauline Chen – Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality
Liver transplant surgeon and author/ columnist Pauline Chen in conversation….on writing, inspirations, mortality and more…
As you see, thoughts on mortality are not all morbid. Every once in a while, it can give us a healthy dose of perspective.