Poems and Poetry

Oncology | A Poem by Stan Morrison

medical advances only offer slim chances
like raffle tickets loaded with unpleasantness
empty your bank account, ride at your own risk
side effects outnumber the therapeutic promises
while “quality of life” is given homage so glibly
the oncologist is just trying to make a living
“survive my poisons and you’ve got it made”
decades of stagnant statistics
masquerading as great progress
walk jog run swim for the cure
Galen remedies dare you to try
American medicine delights in self-adulation
everyone smiling on the evening news report

Galen was a Dark Ages physician. Burns were often treated by pouring hot oil on them. Survival was very much in question. Galen once wrote that his methods worked in nearly every instance, or sometimes the patient just died.

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