The Law of Life and Death
Elizabeth Price Foley Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress KF3827.D4F65 2011 | Dewey Decimal 344.730419
Are you alive? Most people believe that some law defines our status as living (or not) for all purposes. But Foley shows that “not being dead” isn’t necessarily the same as being alive, in the eyes of the law. The need for more organ transplants and conservation of health care resources is exerting pressure to expand the legal definition of death.
In the midst of a fast-paced profession, it is increasingly a challenge to pause and reflect on where a person’s life is heading. All can feel overwhelming. In these moments, when nothing seems stable, it can be instructive to pause and study individuals from previous generations who lived fully and left a lasting legacy. To find valuable lessons and perspective on the present, author Dr. Phillip Diller has often turned to man, citizen, writer, educator, and physician, Dr. Daniel Drake, who lived from 1785-1852.
Leaving a Legacy: Lessons from the Writings of Daniel Drake is a selective collection of excerpts from the vast writings from the nineteenth-century doctor and medical pioneer Daniel Drake. From Drake’s life, documented here in his own words from excerpts of lectures, personal journal entries, presentations, speeches, books, and letters to his children, readers learn about the scope of his accomplishments in medicine, contributions to his community, and dedication to his family. Diller goes beyond biography to contextualize Drake’s life choices and what made him a role model for today’s physicians. Diller selected one hundred and eighty thematically arranged excerpts, which he paired with original reflection questions to guide the reader through thought-provoking prompts. In doing so, Diller presents the lessons from Drake’s remarkable life and work as a guide for others who wish to build an enduring legacy.
Designed to appeal to early and mid-career professionals, particularly those in the medical field, Drake and Diller offer readers a way to enhance life with small actions that can leave a legacy in any community—professional or personal. Documented previously as a man whose life was remarkable for the breadth and depth of his professional accomplishments, Drake’s countless contributions are showcased here to demonstrate the impact he truly had in his time and for generations to come. Engaging with Drake and Diller’s thoughtful and principled voices provides a lasting perspective for those trying to find their purpose in the present.
Limping through Life
A Farm Boy’s Polio Memoir
“Families throughout the United States lived in fear of polio throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, and now the disease had come to our farm. I can still remember that short winter day and the chilly night when I first showed symptoms. My life would never be the same.”
—from the Introduction
Polio was epidemic in the United States starting in 1916. By the 1930s, quarantines and school closings were becoming common, as isolation was one of the only ways to fight the disease. The Sauk vaccine was not available until 1955; in that year, Wisconsin’s Fox River valley had more polio cases per capita than anywhere in the United States. In his most personal book, Jerry Apps, who contracted polio at age twelve, reveals how the disease affected him physically and emotionally, profoundly influencing his education, military service, and family life and setting him on the path to becoming a professional writer.
A hardworking farm kid who loved playing softball, young Jerry Apps would have to make many adjustments and meet many challenges after that winter night he was stricken with a debilitating, sometimes fatal illness. In Limping through Life he explores the ways his world changed after polio and pays tribute to those family members, teachers, and friends who helped him along the way.
Lincoln and Medicine
Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein Southern Illinois University Press, 2012 Library of Congress E457.2.S375 2012 | Dewey Decimal 973.7092
The life of America’s sixteenth president has continued to fascinate the public since his tragic death. Now, Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein unveils an engaging volume on the medical history of the Lincoln family. Lincoln and Medicine, the first work on the subject in nearly eighty years, investigates the most enduring controversies about Lincoln’s mental health, physical history, and assassination; the conditions that afflicted his wife and children, both before and after his death; and Lincoln’s relationship with the medical field during the Civil War, both as commander-in-chief and on a personal level.
Since his assassination in 1865, Lincoln has been diagnosed with no less than seventeen conditions by doctors, historians, and researchers, including congestive heart failure, epilepsy, Marfan syndrome, and mercury poisoning. Schroeder-Lein offers objective scrutiny of the numerous speculations and medical mysteries that continue to be associated with the president’s physical and mental health, from the recent interest in testing Lincoln’s DNA and theories that he was homosexual, to analysis of the deep depressions, accidents, and illnesses that plagued his early years. Set within the broader context of the prevailing medical knowledge and remedies of the era, Lincoln and Medicine takes into account new perspectives on the medical history of Abraham Lincoln and his family, offering an absorbing and informative view into a much-mythologized, yet underinvestigated, dimension of one of the nation’s most famous leaders.
Best of the Best by the Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2013
November 27, 1995: Late this afternoon I was diagnosed with cancer. I learned that I had a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma called 'malt,' for mucous-associated lymphoid tissue.' My oncologist, J. Gregory Mears, M.D., said that mine 'was not a bad story,' because my tumors were 'indolent,' slow-growing. Not a bad story? Doesn't just about everyone know that non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is incurable? I have incurable cancer." So begins Natalie Robin's journal, first serialized in Self magazine, now compiled and expanded in Living in the Lightning. Robins writes frankly, with grace and realism, of her personal journey of learning to live with cancer. Her candid observations, reactions, and emotions throughout her diagnosis and treatment hit home, as she asks questions all of us might when faced with such appalling news:
* How should I tell my mother?
* Will my husband remarry after I die?
* What should I wear to chemotherapy?
* What would happen if I jumped off the table during radiation treatment?
* Can I ever forget I have cancer? Robins's warm and sincerely uplifting portrait of quiet courage will give encouragement to the millions of people with cancer, and the millions more who love them.
Dr. James Burt believed women’s bodies were broken, and only he could fix them. In the 1950s, this Ohio OB-GYN developed what he called “love surgery,” a unique procedure he maintained enhanced the sexual responses of a new mother, transforming her into “a horny little house mouse.” Burt did so without first getting the consent of his patients. Yet he was allowed to practice for over thirty years, mutilating hundreds of women in the process.
It would be easy to dismiss Dr. Burt as a monstrous aberration, a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. Yet as medical historian Sarah Rodriguez reveals, that’s not the whole story. The Love Surgeon asks tough questions about Burt’s heinous acts and what they reveal about the failures of the medical establishment: How was he able to perform an untested surgical procedure? Why wasn’t he obliged to get informed consent from his patients? And why did it take his peers so long to take action?
The Love Surgeon is both a medical horror story and a cautionary tale about the limits of professional self-regulation.