1 November 2017

“Is the experience of pain preferable to the annihilation of experience?” This the question posed by Hervé Guibert, a French writer who died in 1991 while he was HIV-positive. This is also the premise of 2017 scholar Benjamin Gagnon Chainey’s article published in the online newspaper Medical and Health Humanities : A Department Without Walls. The text entitled “The Suffering Caregiver” reaches to the heart of contemporary debates over physician-assisted dying, which consider the patient’s experience of intolerable and irreversible pain – physical or psychological – the ticket to this ultimate care: that of a chosen and dignified death.

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Benjamin Gagnon Chainey

Benjamin Gagnon Chainey (French-language literature, Université de Montréal and Université Paris 7) analyses the evolution of empathy and the patient-caregiver relationship through literary writings touching on AIDS and medical practices, starting at the end of the 19th century.

2017 Scholars