Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink's landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina--and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing. In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters--and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis. One of The New York Times' Best Ten Books of the Year
A national bestseller, the fast-paced and gripping account of the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918 from acclaimed science journalist Gina Kolata, now featuring a new epilogue about avian flu.When we think of plagues, we think of AIDS, Ebola, anthrax spores, and, of course, the Black Death. But in 1918 the Great Flu Epidemic killed an estimated forty million people virtually overnight. If such a plague returned today, taking a comparable percentage of the US population with it, 1.5 million Americans would die. In Flu, Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. From Alaska to Norway, from the streets of Hong Kong to the corridors of the White House, Kolata tracks the race to recover the live pathogen and probes the fear that has impelled government policy. A gripping work of science writing, Flu addresses the prospects for a great epidemic's recurrence and considers what can be done to prevent it.
Ryan, a physician, offers a history of the cure for tuberculosis, including accounts of the people and scientists involved. The final chapter spells out a renewed threat in the congruence of AIDS and tuberculosis.
Before the introduction of antisepsis and inoculation, people commonly died due to unsanitary conditions in the home, or following surgery or childbirth. Between them, the great scientists Louis Pasteur (1822-1893) and Joseph Lister (1827-1912) extended widely the practice of inoculation and revolutionized medical practice. Pasteur's discovery that living organisms are the cause of fermentation formed the basis of the modern germ theory. Following Pasteur's researches, Lister proceeded to develop his antiseptic surgical methods. These breakthroughs in medicine are to be reckoned among the greatest discoveries of the nineteenth century.
In the wake of the anthrax letters following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Americans have begun to grapple with two difficult truths: that there is no terrorist threat more horrifying -- and less understood -- than germ warfare, and that it would take very little to mount a devastating attack on American soil. In Germs, three veteran reporters draw on top sources inside and outside the U.S. government to lay bare Washington's secret strategies for combating this deadly threat.
Featuring an inside look at how germ warfare has been waged throughout history and what form its future might take (and in whose hands), Germs reads like a gripping detective story told by fascinating key figures: American and Soviet medical specialists who once made germ weapons but now fight their spread, FBI agents who track Islamic radicals, the Iraqis who built Saddam Hussein's secret arsenal, spies who travel the world collecting lethal microbes, and scientists who see ominous developments on the horizon. With clear scientific explanations and harrowing insights, Germs is a masterfully written -- and timely -- work of investigative journalism.
The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.
Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart." At the height of World War I, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.
The rural community presents not only distinct health care delivery challenges but also ethical problems for clinicians and administrators of small, rural health care facilities. Health care delivered in a rural context--in closely knit, tightly interdependent small community settings--poses unique ethical considerations for clinical practitioners. For example, a provider in a resource-poor rural setting may be faced with treating a family member, friend, business associate, or neighbor, since the role separation between clinician and patient that predominates in the urban setting is less likely to occur in a small town. Because of the unique rural context, the solutions that health care providers develop to resolve complex ethics dilemmas may differ from solutions reached in urban areas. The Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics is designed to be a useful resource for clinicians and administrators in rural settings. It draws on the available research and real-life examples to paint a picture of challenging, yet all-too-familiar ethics conflicts while offering strategies for a proactive, preventive approach to ethical issues.
Does the world make you sick? If the distractions and distortions around you, the jarring colors and sounds, could shake up the healing chemistry of your mind, might your surroundings also have the power to heal you? This is the question Esther Sternberg explores in Healing Spaces, a look at the marvelously rich nexus of mind and body, perception and place. Sternberg immerses us in the discoveries that have revealed a complicated working relationship between the senses, the emotions, and the immune system. First among these is the story of the researcher who, in the 1980s, found that hospital patients with a view of nature healed faster than those without. How could a pleasant view speed healing? The author pursues this question through a series of places and situations that explore the neurobiology of the senses. The book shows how a Disney theme park or a Frank Gehry concert hall, a labyrinth or a garden can trigger or reduce stress, induce anxiety, or instill peace. If our senses can lead us to a "place of healing," it is no surprise that our place in nature is of critical importance in Sternberg's account. The health of the environment is closely linked to personal health. The discoveries this book describes point to possibilities for designing hospitals, communities, and neighborhoods that promote healing and health for all.
Today's deliberations about a revamped health care system are stuck--in need of fresh analysis and a new vision. Health Care Revolt sets out to provide just that and at a most propitious time in U.S. history. Dr. Michael Fine's manifesto frames the questions more expansively than others before him and offers an impassioned road map for a nation confused about which health care direction to travel. The crux of Dr. Fine's argument is that the U.S. has put the fate of its health care in the so-called marketplace, where the few profit from the public's ill health and accelerate the erosion of democracy in the process. Health Care Revolt looks around the world for examples of health care systems that are effective and affordable, pictures such a system for the U.S., and creates a practical playbook for a revolution to protect health and strengthen democracy.