Bioethics Blogs

Illness & Healing: Images of Cancer [EOL in Art 77]

Robert Pope (no relation) published this 140-page volume in 1995.  The 92 illustrations evoke the dependence, fear, loneliness, pain, and even the mutilation surrounding cancer illness and therapy.

These disturbing, unhappy images are difficult for medical people who are imbued with traditional optimism. We do not like to think that our patients feel so lonely and afraid, especially those who are doing well or who have supposedly curable ailments, like Hodgkin’s Disease, which Pope relentlessly calls “cancer.”    (HT: NYU Lit Med)

Perhaps for that reason, Pope’s family and friends created a special foundation to donate this book of his art and words to students entering medical school. Early in their training, it provides them with a stark and tangible reminder of how it feels to be a patient in the world of modern medicine.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.