Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives

Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives

Pub. Date:
Southern Methodist University Press


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Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives

Written by physicians, caregivers, patients, and family members, the twelve essays collected in Silence Kills present a compelling, and often frightening, insider look at the lack of communication and understanding currently plaguing the American health care system.These stories explore a wide and complicated range of experiences—a doctor is pressured into sending a patient home from the emergency room but later must face his decision when the patient suddenly dies; a physician must deal with her self-doubt as she faces a malpractice lawsuit and must come to terms with the fact that even doctors are fallible and human; a woman fights for her mother's mental health and well-being against a system eager to over-medicate the elderly; and more—but all share one thing: a frustration with a system that hinders communication and often leads to unnecessary suffering.

Inspired by groundbreaking research by VitalSmarts, a global leader in organizational performance and leadership, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), and supported by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Lee Gutkind, editor and founder of Creative Nonfiction, has collected the essays in this volume—in the hope that these voices, speaking out, taking action and risks, will inspire others to make changes that will improve communication within our troubled health care system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870745188
Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press
Publication date: 09/05/2007
Series: Medical Humanities Series
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Lee Gutkind's most recent book, Almost Human: Making Robots Think, details his experiences at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie-Mellon University. His immersion into the motorcycle subculture (Bike Fever), the organ transplant milieu (Many Sleepless Nights), and other previously un-mined worlds has led to nine books and many awards for his literary achievements. He is a professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and founder and editor of the literary journal Creative Nonfiction.

Karen Wolk Feinstein is president of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and chair of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative.

Abraham Verghese, a physician and writer, directs the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio.

What People are Saying About This

Abraham Verghese

These essays strive to break the silence, to ask the questions that should be asked, that should have been asked. They illustrate how easily pride, misunderstanding, laziness, denial, poor data-gathering, avarice, expediency, selfishness and, above all, poor communication can undo the best of technology, the best that medicine has to offer.

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