Overhearers and eavesdroppers

Some time ago, I had a conversation with a PhD student of mine. It was a good-humoured chat, with some laughter, via an internet communicator, which was interrupted by someone chuckling. It turned out that our conversation was listened to by the student’s husband, who was sitting outside the view of the camera. The student immediately commented that her husband was listening in and was secretly laughing. Although I was didn’t think it was a problem at all, I thought something profound had happened. Continue reading “Overhearers and eavesdroppers”

Do ‘caring conversations’ save lives?

My Twitter timeline regularly contains messages urging people to engage in conversations with people they suspect of suicidality. One of the most recent tweets contained reference to an article of ‘caring conversations’. I continue to think that urging untrained people to have such conversations is unethical and shouldn’t be done. But, I thought, perhaps I am wrong and close-minded. I decided to look for evidence, after all, with so many urging messages, there must be loads, it must be screaming at you! Continue reading “Do ‘caring conversations’ save lives?”

Treating the person

I have seen calls to treat the person not the disease for years. If you see so many tweets from medics every day as I do, you will see the adage from William Osler almost daily. For some time now, I have wondered what it means. I’ve always found it difficult to describe what exactly it means to treat the person not the disease that person has. Despite medics’ pronouncements, I also wonder (and doubt) whether medics who speak about it do.

Continue reading “Treating the person”

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