Medicine in Context

Location, Location, Location: Where You Live Determines Your Access to Abortion

Published Mar 6, 2017

Abstract Through the hypothetical, but very plausible case of Julia, we illustrate that where a woman lives in the United States impacts her access to the best abortion care.  Widespread state-level restrictions on abortion care have increased in recent years and negatively impact a woman’s ability to access quality, unbiased, evidence-based care.  Poor women and… Read more

When Courts Fail: Physicians’ Legal and Ethical Duty to Uphold Informed Consent

Published Mar 6, 2017

Abstract Informed consent is a fundamental precept of modern medical care and pertains in those situations when a patient rejects a physician’s recommended treatment.  This article reports on the case of a pregnant woman in labor who refused the Caesarean section urged by her doctor.  The physician involved a consultant and the hospital attorney, and they decided… Read more

All about us: Acknowledging mental illness, psychotherapy, stigma, and shame

Published May 26, 2015

Abstract This article explores compromising effects of stigma regarding mental illness and, by association, psychotherapy. Using examples from her years as a young psychiatry patient decades earlier, the author describes her own attitude, which reflected that stigma. This self-prejudice – shame and fear of stigma – compelled her to hide her hospital history and ongoing… Read more

Art at the living museum

Published May 25, 2015

Abstract A visit to the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center’s Living Museum, a gallery that showcases art made by past and current patients of the institution, demonstrates the therapeutic functions art can serve. Art can be a method of coping with and processing events of the past, a scaffold for mending and rebuilding one’s life, a means… Read more

Chronic pain, mental health and substance use disorders: How can we manage this triad in our healthcare system and in our communities?

Published May 25, 2015

  Abstract The use of opioid analgesics for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain has become a topic of intense debate in the medical community. Over the last decade there has been a significant rise in the morbidity and mortality associated with the use of these medications. In patients with mental health and substance use… Read more

The LeRoy catastrophe: A story of death, determination, and the importance of nutrition in medicine

Published May 25, 2015

Abstract In August 1976, a young man named LeRoy fell from a ledge, fracturing his femur. Major internal bleeding was suspected. During a laparotomy, the trauma team ensured that all internal organs were intact and the orthopedic team set his fracture. Thirty days later, LeRoy died. He had eaten little; each day he only received… Read more

Ban the ban: A scientific and cultural analysis of the FDA’s ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men

Published Jan 6, 2015

Abstract In recent years, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Queer (LGBTQ) community has experienced a number of triumphs. From the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the political and social landscape in the United States is becoming more inclusive of homosexuality.1 While there… Read more