Life as an Extreme Sport

Fin

Two weeks out, and my feelings about the bioethics course are still pretty much the same. It felt, largely, like a giant waste of time. It was such an area of potential, so many grand opportunities of could be, and I feel like it was wasted on a group of people who either didn’t want to be there or didn’t have the maturity for it (primarily the undergradate LIM students), or who wanted to be there but either had inaccurate expectations or no knowledge about, well, philosophy and bioethics. While I don’t think that you should need a degree in, say, philosophy, to be in the program, I do think you need some philosophy background before taking a two week intensive course in bioethics, especially when that course is being taught by not only experts but the fathers of the field. We spent way, way too much time going over

Continue reading »

Dax [August 16]

“No doctor is skilled enough to treat a man without his consent.” This is an amazing experience. I’m not sure how else to categorize it. And for me, it’s intensely personal, as well. Pain management was nearly non-existent when Dax was injured, and has come forward leaps and bounds since the 1970s. And it is in large part through the activism of Dax and people like him that this has happened; awareness has increased to the point that those of us who suffer debilitating pain can receive the treatment we need, and can live relatively normal lives. I can’t imagine being asked to endure what Dax did, even for a day, and yet not only did he do it, but he emerged from it strong enough to continue arguing for the benefit of others. I wondered in my last entry if Dax still felt the way he did the last

Continue reading »

The End [August 17-18]

Unfortunately, at this point in the week my pain issue kicked up to the point that I have few notes. Dr. Thompson, the intensivist, was exceedingly kind to us, in both our excessive questioning and tour of MICU/SICU. His offer to share his recent book was also kind, and something I plan on taking him up on. The extreme cold in our classroom chased me away from AMC shortly later, and I went home to nap. Against my better judgment, I did join everyone for dinner – and am glad that I did. Sitting with Alicia, Glenn, and Sean at dinner was an amazing treat, and a lot of fun. It reawakened a bit of the passion that I was starting to miss, under bad sleep, stress, and pain. Unfortunately, it took its effect on me, and I spent the night with pain keeping me up, Lunesta be damned. When

Continue reading »

The Stillness of Morning [August 16]

I’ve always found something magical at hospitals during the break of morning. There is a stillness, a limit of movement, the sparse and necessary only. Silence reigns, punctuated only by the passing of clogs or the squeak of wheels. Voices are low, the cheesy music has run of the speaker system, and the hushed hospital seems to be waiting for the burst of activity precipitated by the morning staff. It resembles nothing more strongly than the piercing GLOSS of the gloaming. I love it – I’ve always loved it, from all my time in hospitals, as patient, as visitor, as student. There are not many things I will get up at 5am for, and this is one of them. We get to listen to, if not meet, Dax Cowart today. When I finish my breakfast, I’m going to head over to the library and do some refreshing – I couldn’t

Continue reading »

Through Water’s Thickness [August 15]

“Any moral dispute is already situated in the needs of the people.” My notes for Glenn’s lecture are all over the place, quite literally. I’ve got several pages nearly sheer purple for the effort to squeeze every thought, both his and my own, down. I’m not entirely certain how coherent I’m going to be able to make this… We’re talking pragmatism and constructivism today, and the differences between the two. I think Glenn wanted to get much further into what pragmatism is, but we keep being held up by the LIM students and their unfamiliarity with most philosophical terms. Anyhow, pragmatism! From Hegel and company, names I never thought I’d be happy to encounter! Still, it’s home, even if it’s a home I never particularly wanted to have, and thus, comfort. So if I’m understanding Glenn correctly, he’s saying that the arguments around constructivism, especially when misreading Nussbaum’s misreading of

Continue reading »