On Learning to Heal
or, What Medicine Doesn't Know
At thirteen, Ed Cohen was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease—a chronic, incurable condition that nearly killed him in his early twenties. At his diagnosis, his doctors told him that the best he could hope for was periods of remission. Unfortunately, they never mentioned healing as a possibility. In On Learning to Heal, Cohen draws on fifty years of living with Crohn’s to consider how Western medicine’s turn from an “art of healing” toward a “science of medicine” deeply affects both medical practitioners and their patients. He demonstrates that although medicine can now offer many seemingly miraculous therapies, it is not and has never been the only way to enhance healing. Exploring his own path to healing, he argues that learning to heal requires us to desire and value healing as a vital possibility. With this book, Cohen advocates reviving healing’s role for all those whose lives are touched by illness.