Thursday, May 1, 2008


Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.
Robert Motherwell

As this is the first post of the Pallimed: Arts & Humanities Blog, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell all of you why we feel this topic important. Why art and palliative care? What do the two topics really have to do with each other?

First of all, themes common to palliative care such as death, grief, and chronic illness are also common themes in the arts. People have been getting sick and dying since the beginning of time and they have been making art to memorialize the occasion for almost as long. It seems like such a great fit to talk about these topics together.

In palliative care, we deal with (and experience) a lot of emotions: anger, sadness, frustration, relief, sometimes even joy. The arts are a great outlet for emotions. Many people journal or write stories to deal with emotional issues. We use art therapy to help our patients deal with their illnesses. As lovers of the arts, we see writing this as a little bit of self-care (an emotional outlet for us). We hope that reading this blog is a little bit of self-care for you, the reader, as well.

Just writing this will be a great learning experience for us. We hope you will learn something and then teach us something new through your comments. We’re definitely not art experts, just interested palliative care doctors, so we’re open to hear if you agree or disagree with the things we write. Ultimately, we hope this builds your interest in palliative care and the arts so you can share your enthusiasm with those around you.

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