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Paperback Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care Book

ISBN: 0226104710

ISBN13: 9780226104713

Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This groundbreaking book explains prognosis from the perspective of doctors, examining why physicians are reluctant to predict the future, how doctors use prognosis, the symbolism it contains, and the emotional difficulties it involves. Drawing on his experiences as a doctor and sociologist, Nicholas Christakis interviewed scores of physicians and searched dozens of medical textbooks and medical school curricula for discussions of prognosis in an...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

An essential, informative probe of a little-covered subject.

Death Foretold focuses on the doctor's prognosis in medicine, exploring how this prognosis is made and how it's presented to patients. Interviews, surveys and the author's own experience considers the nature of medical prognosis, common errors, and how they're presented and interpreted on all sides. An essential probe of a little-covered subject.

A humane approach to living in the face of death

Nicholas Christakis offers insightful research and well written conclusions in Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care. The ability for physicians to determine with accuracy the end of life offers hope of a better end for patients and families. When medical schools address this overlooked subject, patients will suffer less, be able to plan remaining time wisely and receive appropriate Hopsice and other care. Dr. Christakis is really writing about living well - even if it is the last living the patient does. A superb book for the lay population, as well as medical community - one that hopefully will be heeded by medical school faculties as curriculum is being reviewed.

Medical Prognosis and End of Life Decisions

Near the end of life most of us confront death with great fear. Although physicians are often shepherding us and our families through this critical time in our lives, it is often the case that their efforts fail -- leaving us to anticipate a miracle, and often shocking the surviving relatives when death finally does arrive. I never realized it before reading this book, but physicians often fail us at one of the most critical and vulnerable times of our lives, at the end. Dr. Christakis has illuminated the problems associated with physician's who are unable or unwilling to prognosticate death -- revealing a shortcoming that needs attention. This book should certainly be read by physicians, but I also recommend it for the general public. Dr. Christakis deserves credit for shedding light on a topic that too few physicians are willing to talk about.

An amazing book for healers and those who study them

Death Foretold is an exceptional book. Effortlessly blending history, sociology and clinical acumen, it tells the story of how and why doctors (sometimes) avoid answering the one question their patients really need the answer to: "So what does this mean for me?". It marshalls an impressive array of data, from wonderfully human qualitative interviews with physicians, to rigorously executed quantitative experiments and surveys. All is explained in an elegant and eminently readable voice deeply sympathetic to the patients undergoing awful disease, the families caring for them, and the physicians charged with helping. This is a book that any one training (or trained) in the healing arts must read; but it is also a rare and wonderful chance for those who may one day be patients nearing death to gain some insight into what that experience is like -- and the rich possibilities it could also have.
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