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Attending Children / Edition 2

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Overview

Mohrmann spent 30 years as a pediatrician treating sick and dying children, and this collection of stories about her most memorable cases is yet another important contribution to the narrative bioethics genre. These are stories that are both painful and hopeful, tragic and funny, full of remarkable characters and sometimes bizarre families.

In some ways the book closely resembles Zaner's Conversations on the Edge, in that it allows the reader to peek behind the hospital room curtain to see how patients and their families deal with agonizing choices about life and death. And in both books the reader can see the author evolve and grow over the course of a career. But in the case of Mohrmann's work the author is not simply listening to and advising patients and loved ones, but actually treating them--and, in some cases, making the hard call to recognize the end and withdraw life support Further, Mohrmann's ultimate intention is to tell, through these cases, how doctors learn to be doctors--that is, how physicians learn to attend to patients. Listening, accompanying, and waiting--these are the primary learnings in the education of a doctor. So while this is a book in bioethics, and Mohrmann is an established figure in the SCE crowd, it will also appeal to physicians and other health care workers.

Hardback edition reviewed positively in New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, elsewhere.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: Douglas Moodie, M.D. (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This is a narrative by Dr. Margaret Mohrmann, a pediatrician for 30 years, describing her involvement with children who are seriously ill and their families. Dr. Mohrmann is exceptionally qualified to write this book because she is also Professor of Religious Studies and Medical Education at the University of Virginia. This is a unique experience over an entire physician's lifetime of attending, listening, accompanying, and waiting as she deals with all the issues surrounding children who are ill and their families under great stress and emotional upheaval.
Purpose: The purpose is to portray one physician's journey through 30 years of caring for sick children and dealing with those children and their families. These are certainly worthy objectives and the book provides a personalized look at physiologic and human issues in pediatric care. The book certainly meets the author's goals of accomplishing a narrative of caring and concern for children and their families.
Audience: The audience is pediatric health professionals, medical students, and anyone in medicine and nursing who interacts with very sick children.
Features: The book has a large number of clinical vignettes, described by the titles of the chapters, relating to patient issues such as waiting, listening, letting go, power and powerlessness. These major themes are illustrated by individual personal patient encounters.
Assessment: This is a unique book, and a very personalized one, about dealing with children and families and is wonderful in its compassion. It is full of human insights.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589011076
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret E. Mohrmann, MD, is associate professor of religious studies and medical education at the University of Virginia and is the author of Medicine as Ministry: Reflections on Suffering, Ethics, and Hope.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: Attending

Part I: Listening Chapter 1: Telling Death

Chapter 2: Pain and Longing

Chapter 3: Variations on the Theme of Competence

Chapter 4: Being Mickey's Doctor Chapter 5: Another Kind of Courage

Part II: Accompanying

Chapter 6: Being There

Chapter 7: Intensive Care

Chapter 8: Power and Powerlessness Chapter 9: Letting Go and Going On

Chapter 10: Suspending Disbelief

Chapter 11: God Will Find a Way

Part III: Waiting

Chapter 12: Presumptuous Empathy

Chapter 13: Bridging the Distance

Chapter 14: Against All Odds

Epilogue: Still Attending

Notes

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