New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
xiii, 220 p. ; cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -201) and index.
Robert Martensen, a physician, historian, and ethicist, draws on decades of experience with patients and friends to explore the life cycle of serious illness, from diagnosis to end of life. He connects personal stories with reflections upon mortality, human agency, and the value of "cutting-edge" technology in caring for the critically ill. Timely questions emerge: To what extent should efforts to extend human life be made? What is the value of nontraditional medical treatment? How has the American health-care system affected treatment of the critically ill? And finally, what are our doctors' responsibilities to us as patients, and where do those responsibilities end? Using poignant case studies, Martensen demonstrates how we and our loved ones can maintain dignity and resilience in the face of life's most daunting circumstances.--From publisher description.
Trials of the body -- Less traveled paths -- Illusions of control -- Elective choices -- Reflections on the plight of sick children -- If this is a person -- Life in the narrows -- As day goes nigh.