First, Do No Harm: The Dramatic Story of Real Doctors and Patients Making Impossible Choices at a Big-City Hospital Mass Market Paperback – 1 Apr 1994
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From the Inside Flap
"A powerful, true story of life and death in a major metropolitan hospital...Harrowing... An important book."
THE NEW YORK TIMES
What is life worth? And what is a life worth living? At a time when America faces vital choices about the future of its health care, former NEW YORK TIMES correspondent Lisa Belkin takes a powerful and poignant look at the inner workings of Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, telling the remarkable, real-life stories of the doctors, patients, families, and hospital administrators who must ask--and ultimately answer--the most profound and heart-rendng questions about life and death.
About the Author
Lisa Belkin is a former New York Times reporter whose book Show Me a Hero was the basis for an HBO miniseries produced by David Simon. She is currently chief national correspondent for Yahoo News and lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, Bruce, their sons, and their dog, Riley.
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Belkin applies these gifts to telling the story of the most wrenching life and death ethical dilemmas staff, doctors, nurses, and family members face at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. Amazing advances in medical technology have forced all of us to confront questions never before encountered: when do we stop trying to keep someone alive? what is the definition of quality of life? who gets to decide -- the doctors or the family members? what is the difference between the law, ethics, and morals? how to best live with the decision once it's made?
It takes courage to delve into these questions and to bear the responsibility for them as the ethics committee does at Hermann. It also took a great amount of bravery to offer journalist Belkin unrestricted access to the inner workings of the hospital and the committee. The result is a significantly important book that contributes in vital ways to the ongoing conversations we need to be having in society and among our families as technology puts us more in the position of having to make god-like decisions.
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