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Joseph Cooper
Joseph H. Cooper was editorial counsel at The New Yorker from 1976 to 1996. He teaches ethics and media law seminars, as well as “Medical Moments” literature-and-film courses, at Quinnipiac University. His "Pauses and Moments" columns appear at as “Rumblings from the lane next to the off ramp.”

Entries by Joseph Cooper

Roger Ebert's Life Itself: A Presence Profoundly Felt, Even After His 'Leave of Presence'

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 1:01 PM

In the last four years of his life, Roger Ebert did not have a vocal voice: extensive operations performed to remove and stave off cancer that began in his thyroid had deprived him of his ability to speak, eat, and drink. And yet, Ebert managed to be engagingly communicative as...

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The Fault in Our Stars -- No Serious Faults, Say Cancer Caregivers

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 9:10 PM

Does a Young Adult story resonate with teens who are dealing with cancer, and with those who care for cancer-ridden teenagers?

This summer, movie houses are being invaded by apocalyptic-disaster movies: Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Expendables 3, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and...

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The Tao of Geist

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 5:59 PM

Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees... and other conversations we forgot to have -- from Bill Geist and Willie Geist -- is a fun read that will prompt good talk.

The zeitgeist of Bill Geist ("CBS Sunday Morning") and Willie Geist (MSNBC's "Morning Joe"...

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Cherry Ames, a Rebel With a Cause, Who Would Surely Shake Up the VA

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 9:27 AM

A 1940s Juvenile Fiction heroine was a "disruptor" - who lowered temperatures, raised spirits, and healed WW II wounded.


"The Army has a responsibility to cure its wounded men and make them fit to earn their living again.... Our job is to rebuild broken...

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Celebrating the 'Unwrath' in 'The Grapes of Wrath' on its 75th Anniversary

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 1:20 PM

No mystique to feminine humanity, Ma Joad, a mother superior:

Every woman, or at least almost every woman, has, at one time or another of her life, charge of the personal health of somebody, whether a child or an invalid - in other words, every woman is a nurse.


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Valentine's Day Gifts - Living Wills, Advance Directives, DNRs

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 12:39 PM

To Live, and Let Die:
Terminating End-of-Life Agonies
Two books prompt thoughts of self-directed "exits."

This Valentine's Day, those of us who are getting on can give the gift of clarity by ameliorating those end-of-life agonies that can be ameliorated. Well-considered directions to a healthcare proxy, along...

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A Gettysburg Address Call to Arms -- Health Care Arms

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 9:28 AM

No Clara Barton -- yet Louisa May Alcott did address patients' needs and indignities.

I wouldn't assign Alcott's 1863 book to my health-science students, but I would urge it on VA hospital administrators and politicians who claim to be concerned about wounded warriors and their health care.

.... some...

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For Veterans, Patient Protection and 'Accordable' Care Acts

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2013 | 7:45 AM

The Daughters [and Sons] of Mars

A novel's tales of casualties, care and courage should be prescribed for those keen on putting boots on hostile ground.

Ninety-five years after 1918, the reader is left wondering if the survivors of conflict will remain featureless. Will they be largely "unrecognized"...

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A Palliative to Obamacare Discord

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 12:14 AM

Patient Protection Acts That Can't Be Legislated

Role Models: Characters in Plays Outperform Politicians

Stories set in ICUs and nursing homes can teach students about "bedside matters" -- about humanity and "acceptance"

From what I can tell, my students don't care about Obamacare.


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Dad's Day and D-Day

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 11:14 AM

He never talked about his day at the beach. He wasn't a storyteller and I was not a prober. As a result, I don't know if he went ashore at Juno, Utah or Omaha.

Other than a nod provoked by a World War II film or newsreel, he never gave...

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Punishing September 11 Culprits: Some Inmates Weigh In

(2) Comments | Posted September 11, 2009 | 7:36 AM

Shouldn't a victim of crime have some say in how his or her attacker is dealt with? What's so wrong with retributive justice? Isn't it possible that there might be just a bit less crime if victims (or their family members) were given the opportunity to decide the fate of,...

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