Sherwin B. Nuland

American surgeon

Sherwin Bernard Nuland (born Shepsel Ber Nudelman; December 8, 1930 – March 3, 2014) was an American surgeon and writer who taught bioethics, history of medicine, and medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, and occasionally at Yale College.



Doctors (1988)

  • Tradition is a persuasive teacher, even when what it teaches is erroneous.
  • Long after the theories on which they were based had been debunked, Galen's concepts of sickness and its treatment continued to have a pervasive influence on the daily practice of medicine. Indeed, it is a measure of medicine's progress over the past fifty years that a goodly number of his remedies were still being used until well into the twentieth century.

How We Die (1994)

  • Poets, essayists, chroniclers, wags, and wise men write often about death but have rarely seem it. Physicians and nurses, who see it often, rarely write about it.
  • Of hundreds of known diseases and their predisposing characteristics, some 85% of our aging population will succumb to the complications of one of only seven major entities: atherosclerosis, hypertension, adult-onset diabetes, obesity, mental depressing states such as Alzheimer's and other dementias, cancer, and decreased resistance to infection. Many of those elderly who die will have several of them. And not only that; the personnel of any large hospital's intensive care unit can confirm the everyday observation that terminally ill people are not infrequently victims of all seven.
  • With deep sedation or the blessed respite of terminal coma that comes to some at the end of a difficult struggle, the actual hour when the heart stops is indeed often tranquil. Many do, in this way, avoid a tormented passage; but many others are in physical and mental distress till nearly the last moment, or even at the last moment.

The Mysteries Within (2000)


The Art of Aging (2007)

  • In its own unhurried way, age soundlessly and with persistence treads ever closer behind us on slippered feet, catches up, and finally blends itself into us—all while we are still denying its nearness.
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