This kind of paternalism, when a doctor assesses the risks and benefits, and spares the patient’s “knowing” seems anachronistic. But it may, still, be what many people are looking for when and if they get a serious illness. Not everyone wants a “tell me everything” kind of physician.
I want my doctors to be happy, up-to-date, and rested. What’s the point of so many busy, needed health professionals writing about their experiences or opinions, except if it’s for their own satisfaction?
Whatever the reasons are that most doctors don’t bring up the issue, one might ask this: Why do adults need doctors to tell them about the health benefits of regular exercise? After all, it’s common knowledge –
Last night I began reading a long essay, Regarding the Pain of Others, by Susan Sontag. The work dates to 1993, and centers on the power of photographs of war. She considers Virginia Woolf’s earlier reflections on horrific images from the Spanish Civil War, in Three Guineas. Sontag writes: “Not to be pained by these […]