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Through the Valley of Shadows: Living Wills, Intensive Care, and Making Medicine Human

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4.30  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Hospital intensive care units have changed when and how we die--and not always for the better.

The ICU is a new world, one in which once-fatal diseases can be cured and medical treatments greatly enhance our chances of full recovery. But, paradoxically, these places of physical healing can exact a terrible toll, and by focusing on technology rather than humanity, they too o
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 29th 2016 by Oxford University Press, USA
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4.30  · 
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 ·  10 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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BHodges
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An earnest and straightforward discussion about dying from an experienced and thoughtful ICU physician. Brown sees the current "living will" medical care status quo as woefully inadequate and morally questionable. He outlines a history of dying, the rise of the ICU, explains what it's like to live or die there, and offers real suggestions about how to make critical care more humane. He uses interesting anecdotes from his career and life to guide readers--patients and doctors--toward better ways ...more
Curtis
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent critique of the current system of living wills and how we can do better. Dr Brown gives an excellent historical overview to see how we got where we are, then proceeds to show shortcomings in the current system with equal parts data and personal stories. I appreciated how Dr Brown was frankly honest when needed, while being equally self critical at the same time. Overall, I thought he maintained fairness in his critique and showed optimism for the future.

Hopefully this book starts conve
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Ron Tenney
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book came to my attention when I had a personal conversation with the author, Sam Brown. I found the book both troubling and comforting. Troubling because Brown spares no words to describe the many ways that our current healthcare and legal systems impose burdens on people, leaving doctors and family members hands tied and with limited options as Advanced Medical Directives and Living Wills become effective at the end of life. These directives impose limits and burdens on those approaching ...more
George
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Humane and persuasive. Fascinating and moving stories of the ICU and an argument for reform by a brilliant mind.
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Samuel Morris Brown (born 1972), a medical researcher and physician, is Assistant Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Associate in the Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah and attending physician in the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Intermountain Medical Center. He investigates hidden rhythms in heart function during life-threatening infection ...more