(Monday) 09:30 - 10:00
Health for Mortals: using mortality to orient health around love rather than death Walk through any hospital and you’ll be walking through the anatomy of
Health for Mortals: using mortality to orient health around love rather than death
Walk through any hospital and you’ll be walking through the anatomy of a corpse. The cardiac unit, liver unit, hematology, and so on. Western medicine is built on the dead body and organized around fighting death. The costs of this have long been recognised but imagining something different has been difficult. Is it possible, for instance, to organize health around love? If your hospital wanderings take you to a palliative care unit, you’ll find this starts to be the case. Paradoxically, in the space of death, love, care, and connection matter more. What if our engagement with mortality started earlier? What if health was a terrain for this engagement? In this paper, I consider what a “health for mortals” might involve. I explore how such a project would be in line with the existential shifts required for sustainable living more generally – as commensurate projects of learning to live well within limits.
Speakers for this event
I'm currently the NBHRF Research Chair in Community Health and Aging and Assistant Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University in Canada. My research has sought to challenge the social imaginary of mastery that orients conventional approaches to health. With the aim of contributing to a more compassionate, equitable and sustainable society, my current research explores alternatives. I am study, on the one hand, the logic of care and its application to nursing homes and, on the other hand, contemplative philosophies and the unique relationships they enable to living and dying. I’m particularly interested in the intersections between critical health and environmentalism, as they share common struggles to find ways of living well within limits.