A week ago, the novelist Iain Banks announced he had terminal cancer and was not expected to live beyond a year. The doctors are the experts and this is their expert opinion. Mr Banks has no doubt it is true and has accepted his fate …. And so it is very likely he will fulfill these expectations.
It’s called a nocebo. It’s where the witchdoctor tells the patient they will die in three days, and they go ahead and die in three days. It’s the power of the curse. Iain Banks has been told he will be dead within the year. And he has decided his doctors’ prediction is the truth. He cannot escape his fate. He
My wife, Bernadette, was told she had three months to live. She was told this on January 17th of that year. She died on April 16th. That was a very accurate forecast. Or was it a curse?
My friend Pauline was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. She died slowly over a period of about 18 months. The interesting thing for me was that she absolutely resisted any attempt on my part to make suggestions. She knew I had been through this experience with Bernadette, that I had done years of research, that I had written books. She knew all that. But this knowledge was out-weighed in the balance against the doctor’s opinion that her case was terminal. She had, quite simply, taken on the narrative of death ….