Target: President Barack H. Obama
Goal: Praise dying neurologist who helps the mentally disabled.
Neurologist Oliver Sacks has made innumerable contributions to medicine, but he recently announced that he is dying from an incurable cancer of the liver. Sacks has published a wide array of books, the most popular of which is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, in which he recalls some of his most fascinating medical cases that range from phantom limbs to hallucinations. In his books, he uses anecdotes that he has gathered as a physician to peel back the layers of the mind and reveal its inner workings. Sacks is widely cited as an expert in neurology and medicine, and he was once described by the New York Times as one of the greatest clinical writers of the twenty-first century.
Sacks is also known for giving power to those who were dismissed by doctors as “retarded,” demonstrating that they had artistic or intellectual talents that nobody would ever have expected. In February of 2015, Sacks announced that he has an incurable cancer in his liver. What is remarkable is that he remains in high spirits, writing that “I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
The life of Dr. Sacks has served as an inspiration to countless people, and he should be commended for the contributions that he has made to writing, neurology, and philosophy. As Dr. Sacks enters this difficult new phase in his life, let’s ask President Obama to give him a shout out, reminding him of all the lives that he has positively affected.
Dear President Obama,
Neurologist Oliver Sacks is entering what could well be the last few months of his life, and I would like to ask you to give him a proper accolade. In addition to practicing medicine in the United States for many years, Sacks has also written numerous books that have made valuable contributions to neurology and philosophy. In his book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, he tells the stories of people who were deeply disoriented by neurological disorders, and how they still had attributes that made them valuable human beings. On top of this, Sacks used the stories of patients that he encountered to come to deep realizations about the nature and workings of the human mind.
Sacks announced in February of 2015 that he has an incurable cancer of the liver. I would be highly appreciative if you would honor Dr. Sacks and his contributions as soon as possible. As a society, we need to show our appreciation to those who have made profound contributions, especially in their times of need.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr