At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air... chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.
Stanford internist Lucy Kalanithi is the widow of neurosurgeon and writer Paul Kalanithi, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at age 36. Shortly after his diagnosis, Paul wrote about his transformation from doctor to patient, and explored what makes life worth living in the face of death in his poignant memoir When Breath Becomes Air. After Paul died in 2015, Lucy completed his memoir and wrote its powerful epilogue. As a caregiver for her husband during all phases of his illness and as a practicing physician and a thinker on healthcare value, Lucy is dedicated to helping others choose the health care and end-of-life experiences that best align with their values. She lives in the Bay Area with her and Paul’s daughter, Cady.
A Convocation featuring Dr. Lucy Kalanithi is coming to Utah State University that is free and open to the public, Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 9:00 a.m.
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum - Utah State University Logan Campus
Broadcast simultaneously at http://aggiecast.usu.edu.
Speaker: Dr. Lucy Kalanithi