Launching Dósis: medical humanities + social justice

We have launched! Submit to the CFP!

In the United States today, we face a crisis of health. This crisis manifests in many, many ways—from the opioid crisis and infant mortality to issues of access and deep divides about what health means, for whom, and when. Meanwhile, we watch an unfolding narrative of anger from both sides of the political aisles, and destructive arguments over issues which should be unifying, for instance, that hatred and bullying are bad, and inclusiveness and tolerance are good. Every one of us, despite our backgrounds and contexts, trudge into the last third of 2017 fatigued and frustrated. Each of us looks to a future filled with new dangers to the health of our bodies and also of our minds. We must ask ourselves: what can we do? But also: how much can I do, and remain healthy? How, that is, do we fight this present darkness.

Medicine, Aryballos, @LouvreThe ancient Greek word we today translate as “dose” (as in Daily Dose) has a more subtle and unexpected nuance. Transliterated from δόσις, it means both “a giving” and “the portion prescribed.” But it carried with it the intention of a chain reaction of giving—dósis is the motivated giving and responding that creates reciprocity. In our new mission as an online magazine, Dósis seeks to bring this reciprocity to bear on medical humanities and social justice. We cannot address every wrong as individuals, but together, working responsively and in dialogue, we can work for change.

Medical humanities as a field has long struggled to define itself, to decide not only what it is but what it’s for. Dósis will be mission driven: medical humanities + social justice. We are dedicating our platform to exploring the intersection of health, humanities, and social justice  . When in the dark, it is our responsibility bring the light, to shine brightly ourselves, and to honor the light in others. We must eschew hatred, but not by being hateful. We must resist transforming anger into aggression against the vulnerable. We do not need to find common ground with those who oppose us, but we do need to create solid ground beneath ourselves, a platform for joining our voices and make ourselves heard. Each issue, and each article and commentary within it, serves as a single portion, a dose given and, in the giving, received.

To your health.

 

Patreon update

As you may already be aware, Patreon has recently decided to change its fee structure. Whereas previously, patrons paid exactly what they pledged and the service fee was deducted from the creator’s income, moving forward Patreon plans to charge you, the patrons, a 2.9% + $0.35 processing fee for each pledge. This means, for example, that instead of pledging $5/month and paying $5/month to a given creator, you would pledge $5/month and be charged $5.49 ($0.14 + $0.35).

The backlash from creators and patrons to this proposal has been immediate and strong. We have emailed Patreon as creators — and also as supporters of other creators — to register our displeasure with this proposed change. As creators, we would prefer the option of covering the service fees 100% in order to ensure that our supporters are able to easily budget for their monthly donations and do not experience a sudden rise in the cost of giving creators their support. We hope that Patreon will listen to its users and think again about the wisdom of their proposed changes.

If Patreon does not reverse or amend its decision by December 31st and instead moves forward with the additional fee charged to patrons, Dósis will consider an alternative avenue for accepting monetary donations from supporters. If that happens, we will email and post an update here at Patreon and at Dósis.

We thank you for your support and look forward to sharing our first issue with you in early February 2018!

Sincerely,

Brandy, Hanna, Anna, and Elizabeth
Dósis Editorial Team

Book Review: It’s Not Yet Dark

twitterlogoBRReview by Veronica Tomasic.

“For me, it’s not about how long you live but about how you live” (83).

In end-of-life discussions, we sometimes let our personal ideas about “quality-of-life” and “suffering” dictate when considering whether a patient should forgo medical treatment and begin hospice care. Reading It’s Not Yet Dark (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) may challenge the reader to re-evaluate her or his thoughts on these matters. Written by Simon Fitzmaurice, the Irish filmmaker, the book is a portrayal of his life before a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and after. Importantly, it is an account of his tremendous desire to live and to experience living as fully as possible, despite the limitations imposed on him by his body.

22340465Fitzmaurice was from a large, happy, and supportive family. He was married the love of his life, Ruth, and was just beginning to have success as a filmmaker when he noticed that his foot went limp at times. Because he had been climbing in the Himalayas, he assumed the problem was the result of climbing with shoes that had no support. He asked a shoe salesman about it — the concerned look in his eyes was Fitzmaurice’s first intimation that something profoundly life-changing lay ahead for him. Continue reading “Book Review: It’s Not Yet Dark”

Denouncing the President’s anti-Muslim Extremism

We will not accept the treatment of minority groups as though they are the “problem.”
This morning, the President of the United States has reposted Islamophobic videos from Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right extremist group that aligns itself with white ultranationalism. The videos have long been outed as fake, hate-filled attempts to malign Muslims and to incite violence. That any member of this country or its government, much less its leader, should join forces with such hatred is cause for outrage–and for action. British MPs have called for a ban on Trump following his support of such extremist and racist content.  We await the necessary bipartisan denouncement from member of the United States congressional body. But in the meantime, we at Dósis condemn this behavior and once again make plain our support and acceptance of all persons regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, social status or creed. We will not accept the treatment of minority groups as though they are the “problem.”  This nation is a nation of many, and we are made stronger and better for inclusion and diversity–not division, hatred, and blatant, willful ignorance.

Brandy Schillace, Editor