A Physician’s Perspective on Medical Assistance in Dying

By Andrew Appleton / June 6, 2021 /

Having recently assessed a patient for medical assistance in dying, and reflecting on the sort of conversations I have with my patients, I felt it was important to dust off this essay and get it out there. I wrote it last fall, in response to an especially meaningful encounter with a patient, at the same…

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It’s OK to Hit Pause

By Andrew Appleton / April 21, 2021 /

We have a productivity problem. I’m not referring to the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic. I’m referring to our collectively narrow view that work productivity is synonymous with individual success and well-being. This existed long before COVID-19 did. The chasm between what has been anointed “essential” versus “non-essential” work has all of us standing…

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Remembrance is about values

By Andrew Appleton / November 11, 2020 /

Today is Remembrance Day. We remember the sacrifices made by others to secure our freedom, a future many of them would never experience. Why would someone risk their life, not knowing what the outcome would be, to benefit another? It’s about values. We all have values, deeply held beliefs about the world and our place…

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How to test your stories

By Andrew Appleton / November 4, 2020 /

At the time of this writing, the US election of November 3rd is undecided, showing signs that an eventual result will be contested. Those of us watching (most of the world) will experience feelings about this, along with an attempted explanation for ourselves. Yet most of us will never be privy to the sort of…

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Feelings and the limits of language

By Andrew Appleton / November 3, 2020 /

How are you feeling? A simple enough question, sometimes hard to answer. If you pay close attention, you know how you feel, but describing it to someone else seems impossible. The limits of language do not allow it. Human beings love having words, or labels, for things. If we know what something is called, we…

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You must observe from the audience

By Andrew Appleton / November 1, 2020 /

We are always with ourselves, so it’s natural to view our lives from the first person perspective, as the main character. This is an egocentric position, leading us to see the world as happening to us, or for us. If we believe the narrative that we generate from this view, we become easily irritated when…

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It’s about conditioning

By Andrew Appleton / October 31, 2020 /

In every situation, whatever you are being and doing, your feeling and stories are a product of your conditioning. You were born with a set of pre-conditionings, a combination of human instinct and genetics. From then on, every experience you’ve had has slowly moulded this into the conditioning that you are running now. Often, this…

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Well-being depends on context

By Andrew Appleton / October 30, 2020 /

When asked to evaluate your well-being, your mind will naturally focus on only a few aspects of your life. It is an impossible task to assess the totality of your experiences to date, arriving at some value representing the whole. By focusing on one or a couple of things, your mind is trying to define…

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What is well-being?

By Andrew Appleton / October 29, 2020 /

We have covered that the Human Condition allows us to have experiences within consciousness, our only true possession. I have also said that everyone is going about the same project, albeit in various and frenetic ways, to improve their well-being. The trouble is, most of us don’t know what outcome we seek. Everyone has a…

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