Andrzej Szczeklik is professor in and chair of the Department of Medicine in the School of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University, Poland. For his scientific contributions to the study of asthma and myocardial infarction, he has received awards from the Royal College of Physicians, Lancet, and the Foundation for Polish Science. Antonia Lloyd-Jones is a translator of Polish literature whose recent translations include Mercedes Benz, a novel by Pawel Huelle, and In the Garden of Memory, a family biography by Joanna Olczak-Ronikier.
This little book is neither a history of medicine, nor is it a philosophical or bioethical textbook-it is all of this and more. Renowned Polish cardiologist Szczeklik ponders the state of medicine from its earliest days through the present. He discusses some of the long-debated philosophical questions: modern man's quest for eternal youth, the meaning of life, and what constitutes "self." He also looks at recent medical breakthroughs, such as the mapping of the human genome; the HapMap Project, an international effort to identify and catalog genetic similarities and differences in human beings; and therapeutic cloning. Throughout, he uses classical mythology, literature, and history to put modern medicine into perspective and to demonstrate the power and magic that exists between a doctor and his/her patient. Szczeklik does a convincing job of showing us how, despite modern technology, medicine is still as much an art as it is a science. The general public will enjoy the journey through the mind of this renaissance thinker, and instructors will find plenty of topics for class discussions. A real gem, this book is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Drawing on mathematical ideas, physics, music, mythology, clinical science, and clinical practice, Szczeklik never forces the issues or compels.... He approaches the questions of pain, suffering, and death that confront the doctor daily and that the world regards as 'terrible, futile, and destructive.' Here he stresses the immense value of the experienced doctor in helping patients in the loneliness of pain." - Niall O'Higgins, Times Higher Education Supplement "Szczeklik does a convincing job of showing us how, despite modern technology, medicine is still as much an art as it is a science. The general public will enjoy the journey through the mind of this renaissance thinker.... A real gem, this book is highly recommended." - Library Journal, starred review "Catharsis is a masterful restoration of the old etymological links that exist between what is hale and healthy and holy. Andrzej Szczeklik is professor of medicine, but he is also expert in 'the science of the feelings,' which was how William Wordsworth defined poetry. His book is... a timely reminder that health care involves caritas before it involves the economy." - Seamus Heaney"