No Good Deed: A Story of Medicine, Murder Accusations, and the Debate over How We Die

Overview

On a blustery night, detectives from the Massachusetts State Police knocked on Amy Gleason's door. Gleason, along with fellow nurse Kim Hoy, had helped a patient deal with pain and suffering at the end of her life. Now the patient was dead, and the two nurses were being investigated for murder. Both believed they had done the right thing, but they had no idea what it would cost them.

In this captivating and powerful true story, Dr. Lewis M. Cohen uses the experiences of Gleason,...

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No Good Deed: A Story of Medicine, Murder Accusations, and the Debate over How We Die

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Overview

On a blustery night, detectives from the Massachusetts State Police knocked on Amy Gleason's door. Gleason, along with fellow nurse Kim Hoy, had helped a patient deal with pain and suffering at the end of her life. Now the patient was dead, and the two nurses were being investigated for murder. Both believed they had done the right thing, but they had no idea what it would cost them.

In this captivating and powerful true story, Dr. Lewis M. Cohen uses the experiences of Gleason, Hoy, and the nursing assistant who accused them of murder to explore what happens when decisions about end-of-life care shift from the hospital to the courtroom and the church. Tracing this issue from the uproar over Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to the controversial figure of Jack Kevorkian, and to the legitimate threat of serial killer medical professionals, Cohen goes behind the scenes on both sides of this debate. He examines how advances in modern medicine have given us tremendous tools for prolonging life but have also forced us to address how we treat patients who are dying and suffering.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061721779
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 661,875
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lewis M. Cohen, MD, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Bellagio Residency to complete this book. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

1 The Police Came Knocking 1

2 Humpty Dumpty 9

3 Setting the Scene 19

4 Rosie 29

5 The Wedding 37

6 Turning Points for Planned Deaths 53

7 It's a Wonderful Life 63

8 Discontinuing Dialysis 73

9 Understanding Olga 85

10 The Coalition 101

11 Serial Medical Killers 119

12 Army of God 131

13 Amy Goes Downtown 141

14 More Murder Accusations 151

15 The E-Word Around the World 171

16 Sudden Awakening 193

17 War on Drugs 205

18 The Return 217

19 A View from the Bench 225

20 Moving On 237

Acknowledgments 247

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2010

    important and wonderful

    Dr. Cohen thoughtfully presents a complex and emotionally charged topic (end of life care) in a balanced and compassionate way that is missing in much of our recent discourse. His experience in the field of palliative medicine combined with his ability to let others tell their story is reflected in his writing. As a nurse in my 30th year of practice it is refreshing to see a physician writing about our profession with such respect, insight and admiration.
    This work of non-fiction reads as a good novel that is difficult to put down.
    No Good Deed is a must read for all who have any connection to, or thoughts on, how we view and treat those who are in their final days of life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    A Compelling Take Palliative and End of Life Care

    I'm an old English major who reads a lot of fiction, but I have a weakness for medical lit (a la Atul Gawande and Lisa Saunders). "No Good Deed" fits that niche well, serving as a primer on palliative care in its diverse forms, clearly explaining the myriad arguments both pro and con, and outlining the perils that providers sometimes face when negotiating end-of-life care for their patients.

    Dr. Lewis Cohen writes from his personal perspective as a psychiatrist working with dialysis patients, and illustrates the book with gripping, true stories of patients, providers, families, hospital administrations and the legal system wrangling over the appropriate management of illness and death.

    It's a comprehensive look into bioethics debates playing out around the US and the world, and a compelling, worthwhile read, whether you're a layperson, a student or a medical provider.

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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    Posted April 24, 2010

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    Posted March 25, 2011

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    Posted April 10, 2010

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