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On futility

Editorial for the 8(2) issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

By Michael A. Ashby and Leigh E. Rich

Muse to health care practitioners and writers alike, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov’s successes and struggles as a physician, author, and even public health officer set a standard since the late-nineteenth century and indelibly into the future for all who study the human condition.

On the one hand, he is remembered for his medical exposé of a Siberian “penal colony where 10,000 convicts and political prisoners lived in frozen exile”; his dedicated private practice in Melikhovo (south of Moscow) amid a cholera epidemic; and his tireless fund-raising efforts “for a tuberculosis sanitarium” in Yalta, even as he, himself, suffered from the “great white plague” (Schwartz 2004, 213–14).

On the other, he is known as social journalist, celebrated playwright, and virtuoso of the modern short story. Prolific to a degree few dare to aspire, Chekhov lacked neither skill nor inspiration. [continued …

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Ashby, Michael A., and Leigh E. Rich. 2011. Futility: Editorial for the 8(2) issue. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8(2): 109–111.

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