Beth O’Brien – Medicine and HumilityCast
20/09/2018 by Alice Fraser
Beth O’Brien sits over tea in her flat in Hampstead Heath talking self esteem vs self respect, medical terminology, journalistic ethics, and the problem with autoimmune disorders.
Listen Date: 2018-09-30
I had been meaning to get started on Alice Fraser’s own podcast for a while, but wasn’t sure how it would be. This was my jumping-on point.
It’s a relaxed conversation; and the most novel thing for me in this episode was the discussion about chronic diseases, and two aspects thereof: the unethical behaviour of the TV series Afflicted, and the history of women both being more likely than men to suffer from autoimmune diseases, and of having their symptoms taken less seriously.
The most interesting thing for me in this episode was the discussion earlier on about how there is no movement to emphasise commonality rather than difference; and how this is the unhappy side effect of language getting more and more precise. I immediately went “Yes, but…”
My yesbut is this: there are movements to emphasise commonality rather than difference, and they are usually led by demagogues who are trying to use commonality as bait for everybody to do what they want.
Which is not to contradict Beth O’ Brien’s point; but to look for what is important besides just whether a direction is in the direction of emphasising commonality or difference.