Robert Martensen

  • Lecturer, Harvard Medical School
    Author, "A Life Worth Living"

Over the course of his career, author, doctor and bioethicist Robert Martensen has treated an estimated 75,000 patients in the emergency room and the ICU. In his book “A Life Worth Living,” Martensen presents case studies that illustrate the... More

Over the course of his career, author, doctor and bioethicist Robert Martensen has treated an estimated 75,000 patients in the emergency room and the ICU. In his book “A Life Worth Living,” Martensen presents case studies that illustrate the problems and complexities of American health care system, and argues that safeguarding the quality of a patient’s life sometimes trumps the urge to sustain life at all cost.

Educated at Harvard (B.A.), Dartmouth (M.D.), and the University of California-San Francisco (M.A. and Ph.D.), Martensen has held several university professorships, including service that involved leading a history of medicine museum and archive, prior to joining the National Institutes of Health as director of its Office of History and Museum in October 2007. In 2002 he received a Guggenheim fellowship to complete his book, “The Brain Takes Shape: An Early History.”

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Robert Martensen's Presentations

Gel Health 2009 October 2009

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The end-of-life experience: Here are stories from patients at the end of their lives. Dr. Martensen also covers this theme in his excellent book A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era.

The end-of-life experience: Here are stories from patients at the end of their lives. Dr. Martensen also covers this theme in his excellent book A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era.

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