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Reith Lecture

Here's the link to today's Reith Lecture, The Problem of Hubris by Dr Atul Gawande.

And here is the Reith lecture archive.Reith Lecture

I listened to this and wish to share. Hope the link works but it can be found on BBC Radio 4 iplayer broadcast on Tuesday 9 December it is episode 3 of 4 in this year's series. The other 2 are also worth a listen.

Google Atul Gawande he writes a good deal about healthcare and modern medicine. Stuff we are involved with so much now.

I hope you find it thought provoking and useful.


11 Replies

Here's the link

I thought this was a humbling lecture. Thank you. X

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Thanks to Maureen for signposting the Leith Lecture, and Sue for the URL. I've just listened to it and found it very insightful and full of wisdom. I've been thinking a lot about the topic from a personal perspective. It was helpful to get the professional 'take' based on research and evidence and I think there's a lot of good sense advice offered.

x Annie


I am pleased that you found it inspiring Annie. I too found it inspiring, and very grateful to Sue for the URL. For a while, I have been having this type of discussion with my nurse specialist from the local hospice. And I have been talking to my family about these issues. that is why the Reith Lecture was so inspiring to me. At my initial diagnosis in April 2013, the lovely CNS at hospital said she would contact a hospice nurse to visit me. That scared me at the time, as I had the image that Atul Gawande describes of most peoples view of hospice - morphine and death. Julie is now my friend; she visited me today on the day after my release from from a second hospital discharge.

I will be seeing my oncologist early in the New Year to assess further chemo options. But I really want to open this kind of conversation with her. My goal is quality of life and pain free. I do hope that she is open to the conversations that Atul Gawande talks about.

Maureen x

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I'm sure she'll be open to discussions. You could ask her to listen to the lecture so she understands where you're coming from. It would be good to create a PM group for women who want to discuss these issues. Looking back nearly 4 years since my diagnosis I can image it is not the way everyone wants to think on a public forum.

xx Annie


Annie, what is a PM group? Private Members? And how to set up? Personally, I think these issues need to be more fully discussed. Especially after a report came out last summer which Indicated that most people died in hospital but most people wished to die at home but no one opened the conversations that have been highlighted in the Reith Lecture.

In any case I really don't want to upset anyone.

Maureen x


Hi Maureen

I think the worry is on this sort of site that people are at all sorts of stages and situations with ovarian cancer and I'd hate to worry members with discussions covered in the Reith Lectures if it's not their way of thinking.

The PM function (Personal Message) is accessed by clicking on the downwards arrow by your screen name in the green bar at the top of the screen, then selecting 'Messages', and in the top right hand corner, click on the red button 'Compose'. You can then invite any member of the group to join a PM chat by adding their screen name to the Recipients' Box.

I'd be really interested in a special interest discussion with other like-minded members.

xxx Annie

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Thank you Annie. I shall explore that Private Members , including how to identify and invite members to join. I shall invite you first to join me. I shall probably do that early next week. I am about to disappear to Cornwall for a long week end. One of my short term goals. I do hope the 'weather bomb' has passed and we get some winter sunshine.

Thank you again for thoughtful response. Maureen


Dear Maureen,

Thank you for posting this up, I think it is very interesting.... I don't comment often but I feel it deserves recognition and should be out in the open... It would be a great shame to go underground (i.e. private messaging) with such an important issue also it becomes exclusive (in other words excludes people) this then makes this forum divisive ... after all members have a choice to read and discuss or not and people should be left with a choice... the purpose of Private messaging is to write to members on a more personal level when they don't feel they can share with a wider group (however this doesn't fit in to this category).

There are moderators from Ovacome that would step in if they thought it was unsuitable.

Thanks again for posting I would have missed it if I hadn't seen it on here.

best wishes love x G x


Thank you so much for posting this.

They are inspiring lectures and his thoughtful and kind delivery is a breath of fresh air.

Some very interesting statistics and a lot of relevant things for us to chew over, I thought.


Thank you Mac27. I have been gripped by this series. Do you have a view about opening a Private Members discussion on this topic. Annie has suggested; I was unaware of PM conversations on the forum. See posts above. Gwyn_1 also above has a different view, and actually does reflect my original thinking, (not knowing about PM posts) but thinking it is something that one could follow or not as one chose, and my view is that it is important enough to get to a wider audience.

I am in a quandary now as to how to continue discussions on a sensitive but often forgotten about topic so sensitively exposed in the lecture.

Any thoughts gratefully accepted



Unfortunately in the past there have been waves in this community and unpleasantness because people have posted in good faith about a topic that interests them and it has offended others. As I understand it this is a common problem with online forums.

I'm happy to discuss the Reith lectures in general. They are a wonderful set of thought-provoking ideas. Gwyn hits the nail on the head when she says Private Messaging is to write to members on a more personal leve (on matters that we) don't feel (we) can share with a wider group.

I would love to have someone to talk to about the implications of the Leith Lecture and to be able to share my deepest thoughts and emotions on dying and death but I'd no more do it here on a public forum than I'd engage a stranger in the street in that sort of discussion.

There is merit in both an open discussion on the public forum and a private message group amongst friends depending on the way the conversation goes. Surely a combination of the two is ideal.



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