Rage and Reconciliation: Inspiring a Health Care Revolution

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"Once I heard a transplant surgeon reprimand a resident fortalking too long with a patient when there were so many others to see. 'Save lives first, answer questions later,' he said. Patients and families acknowledged the truth in that statement. The surgeons were so busy jetting through the night to retrieve organs, then standing on their feet in the operating room to transplant them, then rounding to make certain their patients' medications were effective, that they couldn't really afford to invest time or energy in conversation. Still,
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Overview

"Once I heard a transplant surgeon reprimand a resident fortalking too long with a patient when there were so many others to see. 'Save lives first, answer questions later,' he said. Patients and families acknowledged the truth in that statement. The surgeons were so busy jetting through the night to retrieve organs, then standing on their feet in the operating room to transplant them, then rounding to make certain their patients' medications were effective, that they couldn't really afford to invest time or energy in conversation. Still, understanding why the transplant team members were often so insensitive did not eradicate patients' hurt and resentment. I remember one person commenting with great bitterness, 'My doctor knows what my liver looks like, but not my face.'"—Lee Gutkind, from the Introduction In these often intense and searing personal essays, a lawyer describes her seesawing emotions over a misdiagnosis of what she was told was an inoperable tumor—and her anger at her physician's cavalier attitude about the mistake; a physician formerly employed by an HMO rails at the accepted practice of managed care organizations finding legal loopholes to trump a patient's needs; a physician wrestles with the idea of doctors policing themselves, knowing he is powerless in the face of an incompetent colleague. An expansion of a special issue of the journal Creative Nonfiction, this volume of essays by patients and their caretakers, physicians, and health care providers is intended to serve as a foundation for future dialogue and a means to begin to heal the wounds in our health care system. The accompanying 80-minute audio CD contains three of the essays read by actors and a panel discussion of the ethical dimension of the issues raised.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870745034
  • Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press
  • Publication date: 11/10/2005
  • Series: MEDICAL HUMANITIES SERIES
  • Edition description: With 80 minute audio CD
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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