The History Book Club discussion

HEALTH- MEDICINE - SCIENCE > 5. STIFF ~ FIVE – BEYOND THE BLACK BOX - (November 18th – November 24th) ~ (113-127) ~ No-Spoilers, please

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message 1: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom I think the book explains Shanahan's feelings quite well: A whole body is a *person* much more clearly than a limb is.

I don't know if I would agree or not; I think it's hard to say without having had some of these experiences. But it makes sense.

message 2: by Martin (last edited Nov 19, 2013 06:10PM) (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments Corpses tell us a great deal and communities all across the land designate officials, frequently called medical examiners, to document their tales.

On my first newspaper, the medical examiner violated the law in sending me his report ruling a homicide in the death of an infant who'd been placed on a floor vent to fry when it wouldn't stop crying. The corpse had fibers from its blanket in its mouth.

That, and the mother's story that she left the infant on the couch and it rolled off onto the floor vent (it was too young to be able to turn over, as every mother in town informed me the day after our initial story appeared) just didn't add up.

The medical examiner, a pediatrician in his day job, had been an invaluable source on child abuse stories and sent his report because the DA was not going to prosecute the parents.

In the end, the mother went stark raving mad and I suspect is still in an institution. But, a case could never be made against the father, who claimed he slept through the whole ordeal.

message 3: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Kathy wrote: "I wonder how one goes about deciding upon a job like Shanahan's? It is not something that I even knew existed as a career."

That's an interesting question, Kathy!

I don't know, but I am guessing he got interested in human anatomy and then, in college or grad school, saw this as a possibility.

message 4: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Kathy wrote: "I found it interesting, but actually not too surprised that the FAA has no teeth and that safety is truly about money and profits.

And I told my husband we need to fly first class."

Or take the train.

message 5: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 55 comments I thought it was interesting he didn't personally have to work with the bodies to understand what they could tell him about the crash, even though he often ends up looking at them for some reason. I was curious what it is that makes him decide when he needs to see a body or just the data? Is it more useful to what he does to see both?

message 6: by Belle (new)

Belle Blackburn Just want to say I am enjoying reading this thread. I read the book several years ago and really liked it but have forgotten a lot. Such interesting issues.

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