Week 4 / Medicine and Art / By Erum Farooque

This week, we learned about how medicine and art are related which sounds kinda funny. Medicine and art are related but that becomes a controversial topic. When people use the findings and knowledge we have about medicine and its practice as art instead of using it for its intended purpose of healing others and saving lives, a big debate ensues over whether this is right or wrong. The first thing that comes to mind is plastic surgery. People use it to beautify themselves instead of appreciating what they have already. Usually, it is much more than another has. You can always find someone less fortunate or “uglier” than you, ALWAYS. Personally, I believe that plastic surgery should only be used for medical purposes, to heal or to cure one’s defects, not a quality that one is not too fond of, but it is everyone’s own decision. Comparing this to traditional and cultural practices by various tribes or peoples, such as extending necks, or cutting the backs with blades to a create art on one’s body, I think they are very much similar but they seem more okay and socially cceptable because it is part of their culture. The videos that were shown in class yesterday of the boys getting cut to make their skin resemble that of a reptile was familiar to me because my dad watches programs like that on national geographic channel, but i still couldn’t watch the gruesomeness since you could tell how much pain the poor boys were in.

I read the Hippocratic Oath for people to take before becoming doctors, read the modern version and then it made sense. Doctors have to take a oath that they will be honest and not do any wrong-doing. That is comforting especially since doctors are given so much power. They can do as they please with our bodies and a knife while we are unconscious. I liked that the original version had the line “But should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot!” but the modern version removed this line. It stressed how wrong it was for a doctor to violate this law. I also found it especially interesting that the oath contained this line: “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” Doctors actually pledge that medicine involves art. It is an art what doctors and nurses do; healing is beautiful.

So in terms with the idea of working with your body as an artwork and a convas for one’s own artistic expression, I attached this site of people piercing and tattooing their body in odd ways to produce art out of  themselves: http://www.lifeinthefastlane.ca/extreme-body-art-erl-van-aken/art/odd-unusual-weird-whacky


The following two websites describe how important it is for artistic performers to pay attention to their bodies and health. They connect art and medicine together. http://www.artsmedicine.com/


Artists build representations of the human body in the form of sculptures and statues that show all about the body. These artistic pieces combine medicine and art together. They can teach us about the body and doctoral practices. Doctors’ offices actually almost always contain these plastics body representations. Medicine and art go together, apparently.

By Erum Farooque

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