13 outstanding books on illness, suffering, death…and immortality

Doctors regularly come up against illness and suffering.

These are the ghosts that haunt the corridors of hospitals, the phantom visitors to countless wards.

Are we, as a medical fraternity, really comfortable with these challenging maladies?

Or do we flinch and recoil at the prospect of addressing these fearsome scourges head-on?

Death. Seyed Mostafa Zamani on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/seyyed_mostafa_zamani/5084063075

And then there is death, the five letter word that strikes terror in the hearts of all mortals.

The ever-looming shadow over human existence.

Death, the invincible menace that hovers over the living.

Or is it?

Is mortality really the monster our imaginations conjure up?

Or does death have a useful meaning?

Is there some purpose behind the acts of the grim reaper?

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Over the following weeks, The Doctors Bookshelf will try and unmask the truth behind death…

And explore its harbingers – illness and suffering.

We will attempt to get under the skin of our most dreadful horrors and our inescapable terrors

We will explore 13 books as our guides to understanding these agents of apprehension.

We will learn from heroes who have faced these formidable phenomena with dignity.

And we will learn from experts who have studied these disquieting predicaments at close quarters.

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To kick off the series, we will first explore illness with reviews of two great books:

 ILLNESS

byHavi Carel

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THE ILLNESS NARRATIVES

by Arthur Kleinman

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We will then look at the meaning and significance of suffering with reviews of a pair of excellent books:

THE NATURE OF SUFFERRING AND THE GOALS OF MEDICINE

by Eric Cassell

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MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING

by Viktor Frankl

Next we will look at the meaning of death with two great books, psychological and clinical

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THE WORM AT THE CORE

by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski

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BEING MORTAL

by Atul Gawande

We will then explore two books by medical doctors which unmask and demystify the dying process:

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HOW WE DIE

by Sherwin Nuland

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THE WAY WE DIE NOW

by Seamus O’Mahoney

We will then follow up with four excellent and touching personal accounts of dying:

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WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

by Paul Kalanithi

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THE OTHER SIDE

 

by Kate Granger

 

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THE BRIGHT SIDE

by Kate Granger

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Finally we will review immortality, of sorts, with the inspirational tour de force:

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

by Rebecca Skloot

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PS

Click on the title of the books to go to their Amazon webpages

Click on the images of the books to go to the book reviews

Click on the names of the authors to go to their bios

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