If any more of the NHS is sold off US style, our medical world will lose the heart that contributes to keeping so many of us alive, says Melanie McFadyean
Anne Boyer’s intense, evocative, terrifying piece about breast cancer (My body feels like it is dying as a side-effect of the drugs that are meant to save me, Journal, 26 September) hit every nerve in me – body and soul – as I have metastatic breast cancer in lungs, liver and brain. (No sympathy needed: currently under control and latterly shrinking.)
Boyer is a poet and writes with profound resonance, hitting on abstraction as well as brave, raw fact. She knows pain and she shares it without softening the impact. Her experience of the US medical system comes over as high on sci-fi digital methodology and the cruder slash, burn and poison. It’s all very familiar. But, crucially, what her story evokes is a lack of empathy in a system predicated on profit, in “the capitalist medical universe in which all bodies must orbit around profit at all times”.
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