HUMAN KIND: A Doctor's Stories from the Heart of Medicine

HUMAN KIND: A Doctor's Stories from the Heart of Medicine

PETER DORWARD    Book Number: 88011    Product format: Hardback

Mr Foster is bleeding heavily in intensive care and the heart monitor goes flat. Junior doctor Peter Dorward tries to save him but is told by a kindly senior nurse that even if he is resuscitated and receives 10 pints of blood he will have lost his mind. This dramatic scene opens a moving and fascinating book in which Peter Dorward, as a practising GP, describes and reflects on the patients it is difficult or impossible to help. A terminal diagnosis calls for empathy and practicality, and Dorward has learned to ask the essential questions, focusing on the patient's understanding and hopes for the time left. What do you want? What do you fear? What must we avoid no matter what? Jim can't bear the uncertainty and wants to go to Dignitas. Dorward directs him to the public library for details, but eventually with the help of opiates Jim is able to die at home. When Dorward is called out to a suspected stroke, he takes his student Theo who realises there is a drug-related reason why Debbie is unable to move her leg. Dorward is impressed by Theo's tactful advice which avoids humiliating Debbie. Self-harm is common and Dorward sees a lot of "cutters", one of them being Jemma, a medical student dressed in punk style who seems uninterested in the patients and has forgotten to bring her stethoscope. He fails to realise she has been self-harming, but she survives a psychotic episode and comes back to see him later, now on the road to being a successful doctor. Meanwhile he has gained experience of ME, Resignation Syndrome and other conditions where the physical, social and cultural are inextricably linked. An absorbing read. 343pp.
Published price: £16.99
Bibliophile price: £2.75

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ISBN 9781472943903
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