Complications

b003l1zzfu-01-lBook #8: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, Atul Gawande

Medicine is a unique profession.  It is equal parts art, science and technology.  Some patients practically read the textbooks and others simply defy the odds requiring careful sleuthing and continual study.  And for all the progress the last century has brought to the practice of medicine, there are still limits to what physicians can do.  Voltaire once said, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the diseases.”  For all the pomp in the tradition of medicine, physicians are continually humbled by the intricacy and complexity of caring for the human body.  In this book, Atul Gawande shares his experience as a surgical resident and explores both the art and science of medicine.  It is a must read for both physicians and patients.

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Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis

51p-nw22bojlBook #19: Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis, Ellie Ewoldt

In the stillness of a quiet February night, Ellie and Bob’s lives are dramatically changed by the terrifying sights and sounds of their 2 year old having seizure.  And because of this event, they came face to face with the reality that their son Chase had a very large, rare, and aggressive brain tumor.  In the subsequent year and a half, the relative tranquility (whatever that is in a family with 3 boys and 1 girl) was upended by the trials, anxieties, triumphs and heartbreaks of cancer as they struggle through a disease that would tear them apart and knit them together as a family.  In this experience, they learn what it really means to place their trust in the Lord and to walk by faith day by day surrendering themselves to God’s plan.]

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This was a very unique book for me to read; for several reasons.  Continue reading

Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

b00ck8cldy-01-lBook #33: Things that Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics, Charles Krauthammer

Originally trained as a psychiatrist but giving up medical practice, Charles Krauthammer now works as a journalist and political commentator.  Over the past several decades, Krauthammer has written many essays and columns on various topics from science to politics.  This book is a collection of these writings.  He has a unique way of eloquently expressing his ideas.  While I didn’t agree entirely with all that he said (especially as he waxed theologic), it is fascinating to bask in the beauty of an opinion piece well written.

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Why Science Doesn’t Disprove God

51qpmitxmol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Book #5: Why Science Doesn’t Disprove God, Amir Aczel

Inspired by the works of the neo-athiests (Hitchens and Dawkins), Amir Aczel wrote this book as a rebuttal to the principle that science can disprove the existence of God.  He sets out to show that in the various fields of science (math, physics, biology, etc) that there is a certain level of complexity that cannot be explained through merely natural processes, concluding that some level higher order must be involved.  While well researched, my complaint about this book is that it seems to be written from the perspective of scientific absolutism (i.e. the knowledge that we learn from science is the absolute authority.)  The author seems sympathetic to God but relies on the authority of scientific discovery over the revealed Word of God.  So when it comes to authority, he takes his authority from the textbook and not from scripture.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

b00338qeni-01-lBook #9: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

Finding an abdominal mass, Henrietta Lacks, the daughter of an African-american tobacco farmer, seeks health care at Johns Hopkins.  She is found to have cervical cancer and he cells are cultured into the now famous HeLa cell line.  This is a fascinating  discussion about medical research in the 1950s and the ethical issues surrounding research before the era of universal informed consent.  It is must read for anyone performing or interested in medical research.

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