• Mitch Keamy Photo Mitch Keamy is an anesthesiologist in Las Vegas Nevada Andy Kofke Photo Andy Kofke is a Professor of Neuro-anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennslvania Mike O'Connor Mike O'Connor is Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Chicago Rob Dean Photo Rob Dean is a cardiac anesthesiologist in Grand Rapids Michigan, with extensive experience in O.R. administration.

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Sid Schwab

Very nice. It's almost incompatible with action: realizing at some level what it is we do ought to be nearly paralyzing (well, what you do IS). The disconnect between the need nearly to take it for granted in order to do it without being dumb-struck, and the the truly awesome thing it is -- there's something incomprehensible there. Still, like you, I find it necessary once in a while to take full account of it and just let myself be amazed.

The juxtaposition of "sleep and death" reminds me of a thing (calling it a "round" seems too mundane, and I'm not enough of a music scholar to know if there's another term) I used to sing with four friends, a five-part "rondo?," the words to which are "Death is a long long sleep/ sleep is a short short death/ that softens but death ends life's grief/ death is a long long sleep." Grim, but it sounds really great when sung properly.


A beautiful meditation on our art/science, which is indeed a blend of logic, aristry, and an almost mystical trust - dare I say, faith. Nice for us fellow-anesthesiologists once in a while to know of others taking the same leap of faith every day!

Paul Axelrod

There is no real similarity between "anastasis" and "anesthesia." "Anesthesia" is a combination of the privative "an" and "aesthesis," meaning "perception."


Yes, of course, from an etymological perspective; Anesthesia lore/history has Oliver Wendell Holmes naming the art/specialty based upon those roots; "without perception" as you say. I simply muse from a poetic perspective, that if you speak out loud "anesthesia" and "anastasis" they have a very similar phonetic sound, something that the erudite Holmes might have reasonably noted as a clever coincidence; a "pun" as it were. Just conjecture, of course, I am not aware of any historical evidence; it's just a fancy...

Thanks, by the way, for your comment!



I LOVE this post! It explores the spiritual and trust issues in anesthesia, just as we do with sleep at our site, It used to be medicine was a matter of trust and admiration, people looked up to workers in the medical field for having a calling that was composed of life and death and compassion. So many of us are disheartened with the turn of insurance companies dictating medical care and the 'I'll sue you!' attitude of much of the public. So instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, we too have looked inward to the basic elements of healthcare and of human beings. Trusting another to care for us.
Sweet Dreams- Jane


My efforts to demystify death brought me to your post calling for a remystification of anethesiology. Reinvigorating what we do with a dose of wonder is always a good thing, and I'm not even an anethesiologist. I am, however, an instructional technologist developing an online course abour death. I'd like to interview you. Would you be interested?

- Tom

Mitch Keamy

Dear Tom. What an intriguing job description and task. I'd love to chat; contact me at [email protected] and let's find a mutually convenient time...


This is my goal too, to restore some reverence and awe in our minds for what we do, and respect for those who afford us the opportunity; our patients.

Sam Nisbett

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is very interesting information in this article .. I quite like mythology ... amazes me to see the similarity between sleep and death ... may be completely the same! only when we sleep we wake again .. death is not returned ever!

orexis online

I love snow_white, what a great story!!!

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