Book Alert

a long time ago i tutored a group of medical students at melbourne university

one of these was dominic wilkinson

dominic was an unusual student, interested in ethics, coffee, dumb animals and conversation

he was built like a greyhound*, played violin in an orchestra, created, directed and acted in commercial theatre, pedalled a bike everywhere, ran marathons, ate no food that had a mother and eschewed leather shoes

he read widely, had a quirky sense of humour and was far too bright to be a doctor.

straight away i recognized dominic as a fellow dilettant

i knew he would find no time to study for exams and that he would fail

and go on to some more creative field

i was nearly correct: dominic passed his exams, graduating at the head 9780199669431of his elite class

he trained in paediatrics (too easy), ethics (too simple), philosophy

( that gives makes my brain ache)

he won a rare and prized scholarship to oxford where he conquered,

returning to oz with more degrees than a thermometer

five minutes later he is a professor in adelaide and has written this book

i was right: i KNEW he’d turn his mind to something creative

if you have a a baby, plan to make one or ever were one, buy dominic’s book

or even if you just enjoy sex, because you never know…

howard goldenberg

*an expression of one of my patients: “like a greyhound – all dick and ribs”

Now for the official blurb:

In ancient Rome parents would consult the priestess Carmentis shortly after birth to obtain prophecies of the future of their newborn infant. Today, parents and doctors of critically ill children consult a different oracle. Neuroimaging provides a vision of the child’s future, particularly of the nature and severity of any disability. Based on the results of brain scans and other tests doctors and parents face heart-breaking decisions about whether or not to continue intensive treatment or to allow the child to die.

Paediatrician and ethicist Dominic Wilkinson looks at the profound and contentious ethical issues facing those who work in intensive care caring for critically ill children and infants. When should infants or children be allowed to die? How accurate are predictions of future quality of life? How much say should parents have in these decisions? How should they deal with uncertainty about the future? He combines philosophy, medicine and science to shed light on current and future dilemmas.”

Death or Disability? The Carmentis Machine and decision-making for critically ill children is published by Oxford University Press. It is now available via the OUP website on the link above, or via Amazon UKFranceCanadaUS (released in March) or Book Depository (free postage)

 

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