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Life with sudden death : a tale of moral hazard and medical misadventure

Author: Michael Downing
Publisher: Berkeley : Counterpoint : Distributed by Publishers Group West, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The youngest of nine children, Michael Downing was three when his father died - suddenly and inexplicably. No autopsy was performed. The family diagnosis was God's will, and everything he learned at home and school confirmed this." "As a boy in the Berkshires, Downing was rigorously trained as a spiritual athlete, but he couldn't exorcise his fondness for the wrong books, bikes with banana seats, and other boys.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Case studies
Named Person: Michael Downing; Michael Downing; Michael Downing
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Downing
ISBN: 9781582435220 1582435227
OCLC Number: 317923526
Description: 244 p. ; 24 cm.
Responsibility: Michael Downing.

Abstract:

"The youngest of nine children, Michael Downing was three when his father died - suddenly and inexplicably. No autopsy was performed. The family diagnosis was God's will, and everything he learned at home and school confirmed this." "As a boy in the Berkshires, Downing was rigorously trained as a spiritual athlete, but he couldn't exorcise his fondness for the wrong books, bikes with banana seats, and other boys. Instead of vaulting toward heaven, he aimed for Harvard and escaped his inherited sense of identity - until one of his brothers died in 2003, suddenly and inexplicably. Once again, no autopsy was performed." "Alarmed, Downing pursued a diagnosis and discovered he had inherited a mutant protein from his father. The first symptom he was likely to experience would be his sudden death." "Drawn into a world of geneticists, surgeons, and medical manufacturers with their own arcane ethics and faith, Downing had a defibrillator hard-wired to his heart. Within weeks, he needed emergency surgery to extract the device and the life-threatening infection he got with it. Three months later, he was re-implanted - only to read in his morning newspaper that the new electrical wires anchored to his heart were prone to failure. His life-saving device might be useless, or it might deliver a series of unwarranted, possibly fatal, shocks." "From a bedeviled boyhood to the grim comedy of errors in one of Boston's best hospitals, Life with Sudden Death explores a simple question: Who can you trust with your life?"--BOOK JACKET.

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