Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Allan J Hamilton

American Neurosurgeon and Medical Consultant

"Always ask a doctor what he or she would do."

"Ask your doctor to pray with you."

"Could the mind have an existence entirely independent of the central nervous system?... Scientific evidence that not only was her brain not working, it specifically demonstrated the absence of all cortical activity when these conversations actually took place. So where could these brand-new memories have been created?... Imagine the implications of the notion that quanta of conscious energy could exist independently in the Universe, able to enter from anywhere, at any time."

"Assign someone to be your guardian angel. Give someone in your family, a member who’s smart and attentive, the assignment of writing down and recording everything that’s don’t to and for you… the largest number of adverse events, by far, is caused by medication errors."

"Develop your own healing rituals."

"Creation is imbued with purpose."

"Don’t be turned into just another patient. It’s not good for any of us to become faceless, nameless patients."

"Don’t let growing old make you crazy."

"Suffering is not the point of living. It’s the background, the context, against which we discover love’s power over death, over illness. Suffering is what lends love its supremacy over death."

"Find a doctor who cares about you."

"Listen to your favorite music. I’m a big advocate of letting patients listen to music through headphones while they are asleep during surgery. It’s been reported they wake up more clearheaded and calm than other patients"

"Never be dissuaded from alternative medicine."

"Live your life with death in it. Death is just another path… one that we all must take."

"Never let a doctor constrain your outcome. The truly “average” human being is a figment of statistical imagination. There is no such thing as an average outcome."

"Never believe anyone who says `Nothing will go wrong.’"

"Never let a doctor determine your dignity. There is so much about medical care that can be humiliating and degrading. Patients need to be strict with physicians as to what is or is not acceptable."

"Never let the hospital rules interfere with patient visiting hours."

"The will to live is yours."

"Never trade quality for quantity of life."

"Never underestimate luck – good or bad."

"The mind is the greatest secret in all of medicine. You cannot heal if you cannot feel. Healing isn’t from the brain but the soul. You’ve got to look for it in the right place, armed with the correct attitude. Without impeccability, there is no healing power."

"Religious faith does not threaten scientific integrity."

"Whatever solitude we feel on our journey through life is entirely our own fabrication. We are the only judges who can sentence us to solitary confinement."

"There’s no surgery like no surgery! Know how much you’re willing to risk to live the life you want."

"You cannot dodge the bullet with your name on it."

"To heal quickly, avoid negative influences. There are negative people and influences in our lives. Simple rule: will this person make me feel better. Don’t feel guilty for protecting yourself."