One in a Million

One in a Million

by Harry Alexander Cole, Martha M. Jablow

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
How one family coped with the ``right-to-die'' issue is detailed in this graphic account by Cole, husband of a stroke victim, writing with freelancer Jablow. For 47 days in 1986, Jacqueline Cole, 43-year-old mother of four, lay in a deep coma induced by a cerebral hemorrhage. Her husband, a Presbyterian minister, kept vigil in a Baltimore hospital, along with his stepchildren, friends and parishioners. We are made privy to his agony over less than harmonious aspects of his marriage, his interchanges with a seemingly distant God, and his dilemma with the ethics of withdrawing life support systems when chances for recovery are, as his wife's were deemed, ``one in a million.'' Her emergence from coma made court intervention moot, but has not changed the couple's view about an individual's right to determine treatment. The ``as-told-to'' tenor of the narration detracts from what is otherwise a worthwhile contribution to our understanding of a controversial issue. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The great advances made by medical technology have given rise to difficult ethical and legal questions. When to ``pull the plug,'' to cease artificially prolonging a life for which there is no hope of recovery, is one of those questions. Presbyterian minister Cole had to face that question when his wife, Jacqueline, suffered a near-fatal stroke at age 43 that put her into a coma from which she was not expected to awake. Cole tells the gripping story of how he and their children agonized their way to the conclusion that Jackie should be allowed to die. Surprisingly--and miraculously, according to Cole--47 days after the stroke and six days after Cole petitioned the court to pull the plug, Jackie awoke. No easy answers about the right-to-die issue are provided, but there are some thoughtful guidelines. Highly recommended.-- John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York

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Little, Brown and Company
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1st ed

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