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Between Life And Death: Why medicine is art as much as science

Filmed over six months in the country's leading brain injury unit (Addenbooke's Hospital, Cambridge), this BBC One documentary, screened last night at 10.35 pm, followed the patients, families and the medical team as they encountered one of the most ethically difficult decisions in modern medicine including the journey of a man who, by only moving his eyes, is eventually asked if he wants to live or die.

Cambridge Neuroscientist Professor David Menon, pictured left, featured in the documentary. He is a consultant in the Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at Addenbrooke's Hospital and has conducted research into the treatment and rehabilitation of critically ill patients with brain injuries. David explains:

“I hope that viewers will take away a sense of the uncertainties that medical teams sometimes face, and why good clinical care remains just as important in these difficult settings.

I also hope that the programme shows why medicine remains as much an art as a science, why good clinical care requires wisdom as well as knowledge, and that common humanity does not need to be a casualty of "high tech" intensive care”.

David then emphasised:

...a well made programme could illuminate a very difficult topic, and inform the public about this grey area between life and death,..... (and providing the patients and family with) a voice that they would otherwise not have”.

For further information regarding this documentary please visit the BBC website.

To read David's TV blog accompanying this documentary please click here.

To listen to an overview of this programme on the BBC Today programme please click here.

Posted on 13/07/2010

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