Why does it matter ars longa, vita brevis?
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody would have done it, but not Everybody did it. Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realised that Anybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody, blamed Somebody when Nobody did, what Anybody could have done.
Health humanities allows us to think more clearly, critically and creatively about the individual experience of health and illness. This focus on what it means to be sick or well distinguishes an arts-and humanities-based approach to health from more conventional approaches to health studies. What’s important to understand is that this does not mean that the arts and humanities are “better” or more important than biological or physiological knowledge of health. My own background is in clinical epidemiology and geriatrics, and I work closely with colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine.
What health humanities uniquely shows us is that the arts and humanities have something to teach us about the complex lived experience of health and illness. The arts and humanities are really good at helping us investigate and imagine ways into that complexity, which is often profoundly unique from person to person. The effects of health policy or illness experiences are often profoundly personal. If we only focus on the “bigger picture” of health, that individual perspective goes missing. That’s why health humanities matters.
Health humanities has been around for about 40 years, mostly in medical schools where the arts have been employed to enhance the teaching of clinical skills like compassion and empathy. But the relationship between arts and medicine is an ancient one. Hippocrates, the founder of modern western medicine, famously wrote ars longa, vita brevis, art is long and life is short, in the document we now call the Hippocratic Oath.
What attracts PulseMedic to health humanities is how it asks researchers and educators to think about the relationship between the creative imagination of health and illness, and how those ideas get put to work in the “real world.”
What are the relationships between body, health, mobility and urban environments? What happens when these connections are out of balance? And how do traffic and mobility—by vehicle or bicycle—fit into this equation?
A quote from Chaplin to remember. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all. Get to know one another first aid is more than health.
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