Saturday, August 14, 2010

Christopher Hitchens

In July, the controversial American-based British journalist and author, Christopher Hitchens, 61, announced that he had esophageal cancer.

The disease kills 14,530 Americans a year and one type is associated with smoking and drinking, habits Hitchens himself has often drawn attention to.

"It tends to be an aggressive cancer," said Dr. Richard Battafarano, chief of thoracic surgery at the University of Maryland, told ABC News. "By the time a person knows he has esophageal cancer, it's already moved to stage 3 or 4. By the time people go to the doctor because their voice has changed or their swallowing has changed, the tumour has advanced."

Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, earlier this month met Hitch as he is called.

"How am I? I am dying," he says at the start of the conversation, recorded at his own home in Washington DC with his "dearest friend" Martin Amis, the novelist, appearing midway through it, a bottle of beer in hand. "Everybody is, but the process has suddenly accelerated on me."

The interview ranged from the the Middle East, good vs. evil, the existence or non-existence of God. Here's a short video of our discussion about sickness and theology.