A numbers game …

By now a thesis might be emerging: that the classic, one-to-one model of treatment that makes the doctor so important a figure in an individual’s life, and gives her such rich and fascinating access to private narratives, and has raised her up on a pedestal of sorts in the eyes of the privileged people of the Western world, is in some ways a moral grey area.  It puts the needs of the one above those of the many to an extreme. And so, while so much time & money is spent in that model of healthcare in the West, there are millions of people in the “majority world” dying every year because of the neglect that arises as a result, whose (clearly, “less important”) lives could be saved if even a fraction of the money, medicines and manpower that we put into our systems were diverted to them.

Next week, in our final session, we will see the two forces (the needs of the one versus those of the many) played out dramatically in the story of Valentino Achak Deng as fictionalised by Dave Eggers in his novel What is the What? I am thrilled that Colman Farrell, CEO of Suas, will be joining us to hear Niall’s presentation and chat about his own experience of some of the issues raised.


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