Austin Lam is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at the University of Toronto
I remember the final oral examination for my Phenomenology course at McGill University. I was nearing completion of my undergraduate degree, yet I remained uncertain as to whether I had been accepted to medical school or not. My professor, who knew of my aspirations, presented me with a poignant question after the exam: “What does it mean to care in healthcare?” We had studied Heidegger’s Being and Time (BT) during the course, in which Heidegger developed a nuanced, intricate, and memorable illustration of Care.
This powerful question has stayed with me through the fledgling stages of my medical training. ...continue reading
Class of 2016
Medicine is often thought of as a matter of science. Experiments are conducted and cumulative evidence is then applied to best clinical practice. While this is certainly true, there is a lack of appreciation of what goes into the process of medicine. There are numerous assumptions that take place in medicine, including our method of experimentation and interpretation of findings. This is where philosophy comes in, to balance the science of medicine. ...continue reading
Ewan C Goligher MD is an Intensivist at Toronto Western Hospital and a doctoral student in the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Stephen W Hwang MD MPH is a General Internist at St. Michael’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
The writing is on the wall. Physician-assisted death is very likely to soon be legal in Canada. Although legal decisions cannot put to rest ethical controversy, the winds of public opinion have shifted considerably, and policy changes will probably gain rapid and widespread acceptance in Canadian society. Requests for assisted death will become more frequent. Canadian physicians, of whom only a minority have indicated a willingness to provide or administer lethal doses of the drugs at their disposal, will therefore be faced with the serious personal ethical challenge of deciding whether to honour such requests and whether to refer patients to physicians willing to accommodate such requests. ...continue reading