medicine

Books

Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh

Reading about Henry Marsh’s vocation to neurosurgery, I thought about my own calling as a minister. I was startled by his depiction of detachment from patients.

Books

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman

A book I like to teach

One of my grad school teachers said that anyone teaching bioethics should adopt Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Upon arriving at Baylor I took up her suggestion, and I have taught the National Book Critics Circle Award winner twice a year for nearly a decade.

Books

Medicine and Religion, by Gary B. Ferngren

At the hospital where I work, families may form relationships with pastoral care staff—but they come for our clinical competence in medicine. Gary Ferngren points out how new and odd this is.

Books

Incurable condition

Not every ailment can be fixed—or should be. Atul Gawande thinks we need to talk about this.

Books

The Nature of Healing, by Eric J. Cassell

Eric Cassell reminds us that people experience sickness in profoundly individual ways. Physicians should learn to heal patients even when they cannot cure their diseases.

Books

Can medicine be cured?

Jeffrey Bishop is both a physician and a philosopher. Here he turns his clinical and analytical gaze on medicine, and his diagnosis is bleak.

Books

God of wholeness

Fred Gaiser offers a sober, accessible review of the biblical materials pertinent to our thinking about healing.

Books

False Hopes, by Daniel Callahan

Medicine, Daniel Callahan argues, has become the sustainer of false hope in the face of death and dissolution. Callahan calls for a medicine more modest in its aspirations and more careful in its promises. Giving up the illusion that it can extend life indefinitely for a few, this new medicine would devote itself to making life better for the many.