Each week, the Sunday Post highlights just a few pieces of longform writing that we loved reading. Settle in with a cup of coffee, or tea, if that's your pleasure — we saved you a seat! Read an essay or an article online that you loved? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Need more browse? You can also look through the archives.
Carolyn Fraser’s account of the death of her father, a Christian Scientist, from gangrene is gut-wrenching and chilling. As difficult as it is to imagine making the decision to refuse treatment for such a gross physical insult, it’s even harder to imagine encouraging someone to do so. There’s nothing noble about shoring up your own faith through someone else’s extremity of suffering.
Death is never easy, either for the dying or for those left behind. It’s now commonplace for ethicists to lament the ways hospitals encumber or complicate dying, by encouraging hope where there is none, or by refusing to clarify the point at which further intervention may be needlessly expensive or excruciating. But there is something worse than death in a hospital. There’s dying unnecessarily of conditions or diseases for which real treatment or pain management is readily available. There’s dying without help, without pain relief, without care.
Taylor Moore with the story of Curbside Splendor, a midwestern indie press beloved by everyone but the authors it refused to pay. The overwhelming majority of independent presses get it right; here’s the gritty detail of how hard it is to do what they’re doing, and how much it matters.
This phenomenon—of small business owners getting in over their heads—is not unique to Curbside, said Michael Gross. It’s systemic. As director of legal services at the Author’s Guild, Gross assists authors with contract reviews and publishing disputes, and what’s happened at Curbside is occurring across the country, he says. The rise of e-books and print-on-demand publishing since the turn of the century has made the historically expensive publishing industry more accessible, which is a double-edged sword—it’s easier than ever to get published now, but it’s also easier than ever to get screwed.
We don’t trust doctors as much as we used to, and nor should we. The God-like physician trope is one I’m happy to see fade away. But the power of doctors hasn’t faded: medicine is hard, sometimes brutal, sometimes dangerous to the patient — or in the case of the massive antibiotic therapy administered by “Lyme-literate” doctors, dangerous to us all. Here’s Molly Fischer on how a chronic and disabling disease entered modern medicine’s wild west.
You are unlikely to find yourself in this office unless you’re already considering the possibility that you have Lyme disease — perhaps you saw something online or heard something from a friend. Still, a Lyme-literate doctor like Raxlen is the gatekeeper who validates chronic Lyme as an identity. Lyme-literate doctors are often referred to as LLMDs, though the title doesn’t reflect any specific set of qualifications or credentials. ILADS offers a daylong course in Lyme fundamentals and, through its educational arm, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Educational Foundation (ILADEF), a one-to-two-week training program for clinicians. The only prerequisites for the latter are completion of the Lyme-fundamentals course and the ability to prescribe antibiotics.