The body is taken as the raw material or substrate upon which medicine acts, and this is reasonable. But what is medicine’s relationship to the bodies? Is it consistent, regardless of the body or groups of bodies in question, and does this matter? To what extent are patients’ lives encountered as landscapes of meaning, as much as repositories of flesh and pathology? What sorts of knowledge—maps, almost, of the body—ought medicine to aspire to? And what—in the twenty first century, given medicine’s remarkable technological reach—is the value of imagination?
Sam Guglani is a doctor and writer. He trained in medicine at UCL and qualified as a doctor in 1995. He completed his specialist training in Clinical Oncology in 2005, after which he worked as a Research Fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne for a year. He was appointed as Consultant Clinical Oncologist in Cheltenham in 2006, where he now specialises in the management of lung and brain cancers. He has masters degrees in Ethics (Keele, 2009) and Creative Writing (Oxford, 2014). He is a published poet, his column The Notes is published by The Lancet, and his novel Histories was posted by riverrun (Quercus Books). He is Director and Curator of Medicine Unboxed, a project he founded in 2009 to engage health professionals and the public in conversation around medicine, illuminated by the arts.
This event is open to all and free to attend, booking is required via Eventbrite and will open in September.