Hoping, Willing, and Narrative Re-envisioning

Cheryl Mattingly

Hope is not a simple “denial” of reality, but something that is painstakingly cultivated. Part of the struggle for hope involves a shift of perception in light of changing circumstances.

At the Gates of the Labyrinth

Paul A. Komesaroff

Pain and grief are among our most private, isolating experiences.

The Ebb and Flow of Depression

David Healy

Depression’s prevalence can be attributed to the reduced importance of the notion of conflict.

Happiness as an End in Itself

The Editors

Recent studies suggest that working on happiness may be counterproductive.

Freedom to Make the Right Choice

A controversial campaign in 2013 aimed at teen pregnancy in New York City.

Youth and Prescription Drugs

The Editors

Overwhelmed and overmedicated.

Toward a Better Death

William P. Kabasenche

Hoping for a richer, particularistic philosophy of medicine.

Pink Pills and Economic Man

Joseph E. Davis

Mysteriously, biologically, men and women want, or want to want, “the same thing.”

No Country for Old Age

Joseph E. Davis

The normative appeal of the new gerontology to individual autonomy and responsibility makes it even clearer that “failure” is precisely what is at stake.

Being There

Wilfred M. McClay

A human person is a historical being, in whom the past remains immanent in the present, and whom the wear and tear of time enhances rather than diminishes.

You Are What You (Don’t) Eat

James McWilliams

The personal diet has become not only a cult; it has become a political statement.

Unveiling Our New Modernity

Jonathan D. Teubner

We are coming to see our world as increasingly discontinuous with the twentieth century.

The Machine Pauses

Stuart Whatley

Technology always holds the key to our salvation. The question is whether it also played a role in our original sin.

Learning from Typhoid Mary

B.D. McClay

Genuine risks to public health are commingled with selective punishment and prejudice.

Lockdown Nostalgia

S.D. Chrostowska

Back to normal? So soon?

Scientific Authority and the Democratic Narrative

Jason Blakely

Democracy and science can be mutually reinforcing only if there is a recognition of the limited authority of each.

Technosolutionism Isn’t the Fix

Christine Rosen

We shouldn’t assume that the measures we take to combat the coronavirus today are temporary.

Awareness Daze

Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Awareness is not the opposite of ignorance. Rather, it’s a stand-in for performative gestures of all kinds.

Masks Off

Charlie Riggs

The pandemic-era “doctrine of masks” contained no playfulness or irony.

Sisyphus Gets a Prescription

Carl Elliott

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the health of the community is essential to the health of the individual.

From Hard Hats to Scrubs

Colin Gordon

Understanding how the shambolic marriage of private and public coverage costs so much and delivers so little.


B.D. McClay

Every critique of self-care is true. Unfortunately, you still have to take care of yourself.

Medical Humanities and the Specialist

Ronald W. Dworkin

Studying art taught me to think differently about medical procedures.


Trevor Quirk

Now more than ever, time could be irretrievably wasted.


Philip Weinstein

Our identity—insofar as it may be thought of as a fortress—is less adept at resisting life’s various microassaults at 3 am.

Sex Positivity

Phoebe Maltz Bovy

What women do want matters as much as what we don’t.

The Right to Care

Adin Lears

Defenders of abortion might more wisely reframe their case around the central importance of care.

Mental Medicine

Joseph E. Davis

More disorder, more screening, more care: the familiar talking points, all dutifully repeated.

The COVID Regime and the Liberal Subject

Matthew B. Crawford

COVID made visible the usually subterranean core of the liberal project, which is not merely political but anthropological.

A Carrier Bag Theory of Biology

Lee Cooper

W.S. Merwin began by digging a hole.

Up in Smoke—Plain Packaging and Brand Identity

Leann Davis Alspaugh

Is plain packaging for cigarettes a barrier to trade?

False Positive

Eric B. Schnurer

How are we to respond when faced with competing  uncertainties?

Covidien and the Failure of Corporate Social Responsibility

Kyle Edward Williams

We can’t take CEOs’ high-flown gestures at face value.

Wearing a Mask in France Would Be a Revolution

Frédéric Keck

In France, wearing a COVID-19 mask will mean a real revolution in norms governing behavior in its public space. 

Lockdown Nostalgia

S.D. Chrostowska

The return to normalcy will be long, and we might even change our mind along the way.

No Longer an Extraordinary Event

Joseph E. Davis

Our exploitive relationship to the natural order is greatly magnifying the possibility of spillover and increasing virus virulence.

Crisis and Beholding

Benjamin Chan

The importance of learning to see beyond our preoccupations.

The Uniqueness of the Here and Now

Cecile McWilliams

The solitude of sickness is not a waste of time but rather a compression of it, a bundle the size of a pill bottle.

Two Cheers for Assisted Living

Missy DeRegibus

The COVID crisis has changed our perceptions of assisted living communities, perhaps permanently.

How to Cook a Wolf Under Lockdown

Laurel Berger

My quarrel with M.F.K. Fisher was part of a larger quarrel I’ve been having with myself ever since we went to ground in March. 

What Happened to Family Medicine?

Anna Keating

Trust plays an important role in public health.

Saving Face

Leann Davis Alspaugh

The face we present to the world is the primary signifier we possess.

Paging Dr. Bot

Ronald W. Dworkin

Reconstituting the totality of a person knowing only the “parts” of his or her mind is equally nonsensical.