Wrongful Death

Overview

“A loving eulogy . . . a powerful and wrenching book.” —Los Angeles Times
On February 10, 1991, Elliot Gilbert, a sixty-year-old professor of English, checked into a major medical center for routine prostate surgery. Twenty-four hours later, he was pronounced dead in the recovery room. To this day, no one from the hospital has told his family how or why he died. In Wrongful Death his widow has produced a searingly frank account of one family's experience with a kind of medical disaster that occurs surprisingly ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $13.26   
  • Used (15) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

“A loving eulogy . . . a powerful and wrenching book.” —Los Angeles Times
On February 10, 1991, Elliot Gilbert, a sixty-year-old professor of English, checked into a major medical center for routine prostate surgery. Twenty-four hours later, he was pronounced dead in the recovery room. To this day, no one from the hospital has told his family how or why he died. In Wrongful Death his widow has produced a searingly frank account of one family's experience with a kind of medical disaster that occurs surprisingly often but is all-too-rarely discussed in a political arena dominated by concerns about the escalating costs of malpractice insurance. As her story unfolds, Sandra Gilbert describes the numbing shock into which she and her children were plunged by her husband's inexplicable death as well as the stages of grief they endured as they struggled to come to terms with their loss. But her major focus is on the process of discovery through which, with the help of friends and lawyers, they began to learn something about what had happened to Elliot. What are the implications of such a medical tragedy for the deceased and for his survivors? How does it feel to confront the possibility that a loved one has suffered what the law calls a "wrongful death"? As she examines the bewildering complexity of the legal, social, and medical questions surrounding "adverse events" like the one that killed her husband, Gilbert shows how vulnerable we all are to the power of the health-care establishment.

In February, 1991, Elliot Gilbert checked into the hospital for routine surgery. One day later, he was dead. Wrongful Death is a searingly frank and gripping account of his family's experience with a medical disaster that occurs often but is rarely discussed. It shows how vulnerable we all are to the power of the medical establishment.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Because my husband, superb storyteller though he was, could not tell his own story, I have had to tell his story for him.'' This powerful memoir revisits and examines the 1991 death of poet and feminist scholar Gilbert's (No Man's Land) husband Elliot following prostate cancer surgery at the University of California Davis Medical Center. She and her family, suspecting medical negligence, engaged a lawyer and investigated the circumstances of the death; in 1992 they settled their lawsuit out of court. The memoir recounts the events preceding Elliot's death and leading up to and beyond the legal resolution. But its power lies in the writer's anger and her grief, and in her all-consuming determination: her book is a moving and extended meditation on moral obsession. It is also about the strained but stalwart emotional resources of a family. And it's a book likely to reach a broad readership among those who are increasingly suspicious of the medical establishment or who have suffered an abrupt loss like the author's. She is a professor of English at the University of California, Davis, as was her husband. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Gilbert (coauthor, with Susan Gubar, of the three-volume No Man's Land, LJ 11/1/87; LJ 3/1/89; LJ 10/1/94) brings the intelligence and sensitivity of her distinguished literary scholarship to this account of her and her family's reaction to the shattering "adverse event" that caused her husband to bleed to death following routine prostate surgery at a major California teaching hospital. The callousness and secretiveness of the surgeon and hospital staff compounded the family's tragedy and, not surprisingly, led to claims of malpractice. The legal search for truth and accountability forms the book's central drama and offers a telling perspective on the often demonized field of medical malpractice. A compelling medical mystery, a passionate meditation on love and grief, and a sobering reminder of the transience of life; highly recommended for most libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/94.]-Kathy Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393315165
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra M. Gilbert has published numerous volumes of criticism, including, most recently, Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve, as well as eight collections of poetry and a memoir. She is coeditor (with Susan Gubar) of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women and a recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. A Distinguished Professor of English emerita at the University of California, Davis, she lives in Berkeley, California.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)