In this 1994 bestseller, a surgeon and Yale professor of medicine describes in detail the primary physiological processes that take us out of this world, from heart attacks and cancer to Alzheimer's and AIDS. But this is not merely a scientific text; Dr. Nuland brings the facts alive with true stories about seeing his grandmother drop dead before his eyes, his very first professional death (a heart attack when he was just a third year med student), and the agonizing deaths of grownup friends and his brother. He draws on illuminating references from history (Dr. David Livingstone) and literature (Montaigne, Tolstoy), and is very honest about the ethical and moral issues that confront families and caregivers. Most moving are his stories of where he failed his own family and patients in the ways other doctors (and families) often do. This is a very human (and humanistic) book that everyone would be wise not only to read but to own a copy and reread.
This report prepared by David Loftus