Twenty years ago all of them would have been given up for dead, with no realistic hope for survival. But today, thanks to incredible new medical advances, each of these individuals is alive and well . . .Cheating Death.
In this riveting book, Dr. Sanjay Gupta - neurosurgeon, chief medical correspondent for CNN, and best-selling author- chronicles the almost unbelievable science that has made these seemingly miraculous recoveries possible. A bold new breed of doctors has achieved amazing rescues by refusing to accept that any life is irretrievably lost. Extended cardiac arrest, "brain death," not breathing for over an hour-all these conditions used to be considered inevitably fatal, but they no longer are. Today, revolutionary advances are blurring the traditional line between life and death in fascinating ways.
Drawing on real-life stories and using his unprecedented access to the latest medical research, Dr. Gupta dramatically presents exciting accounts of how pioneering physicians and researchers are altering our understanding of how the human body functions when it comes to survival-and why more and more patients who once would have died are now alive. From experiments with therapeutic hypothermia to save comatose stroke or heart attack victims to lifesaving operations in utero to the study of animal hibernation to help wounded soldiers on far-off battlefields, these remarkable case histories transform and enrich all our assumptions about the true nature of death and life.
©2009 Sanjay Gupta; (P)2009 Hachette
As a non-physician medical professional, this was a great book. I don't know the long term outcome of his ideas and/or observations, but if ANY of them become part of the accepted medical culture, it'll be worth it. I recoommend to all medical, pharmacy and nursing students, residents, and practicing clinicians.
I am a widow and mother of 2 grown up daughters. I listen to audibles every night at least 1 to 2 hrs. It relaxes me and I get to tell my girls about it. I love this activity. It keeps me out of trouble.
Well written and well narrated. Angie Shelton
Stanford University Medical Ctr
How many of us, at one time or another, have wondered about the end of life, either our own or that of a loved on already gone? In this outstanding narration of his own book, practicing clinical neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., explores and explains just how far modern medicine has been able to push the envelope between life and death, and what defines the very limits of both. Using plain english for the lay person, with enough medical detail to capture those medical professionals alike, Dr. Gupta takes us on a tour of one of those areas that is a frequently tabooed subject in medicine-after all-death is in a way medicine's 'arch-enemy'. Yet after listening to this Audible presentation, a first for me, and an experience unlike any before, I felt as though I had spent many hours one on one with the good doctor himself, as he delves into areas I've never heard another highly acclaimed physician talk about before, and I came away with a whole new appreciation, and understanding!
Unlike some critics, I enjoyed Dr. Gupta's narration of his book. I was a bit wary of the subject matter- everyone dies and as a culture we have a hard time acknowledging this and to have such an influential MD write a book on "cheating death..." well, I was prepared for the worst. The first chapter was a bit maddening- extraordinary feats of survival in mostly extraordinary circumstances become the base for suggesting cooling therapy after MIs and strokes. While the take away was important- cooling therapy, though poorly adopted in the US, has great potential for reducing harm, I didn't appreciate the emphasis on "and you too could live forever!" As so often is the case, scant mention was given to quality of life versus quantity of life. As it went on, the book got better. I enjoyed that he delved into the unknown, tying together near death experiences with the physiology of death, sleep etc, and the piece on intrauterine surgery was interesting. As a follow up I suggest Katy Butler's Knocking on Heaven's Door, a Path to a Better Way of Death.
Dr. Gupta explains, through discussion, a number of instances when people were considered ... even declared ... dead, but still were able to be brought back to life. He shows, in this book how the once-considered finality of a person being dead, according to indications on the medical machinery, may not really be the case at all. It does bring up the unsettling thought that doctors inadvertently could make a mistake in declaring a person dead, in order to begin organ harvesting for transplanting.
It is interesting and amazing to hear about some of the advancements of medical science, and also to consider how the lines of "death" have become blurred. Gupta also explores the power of prayer, & its influence upon the sick, as well as "miracles", and the attempt to explain them in scientific terms.
If you are looking for a good book dealing factually with medicine, especially neurosurgery, this may be the book for you. Gupta writes well ... almost conversationally.
This is a good one; I'll be watching for more by Sanjay, Gupta, M.D.
This book gives an impressive blend of scientific view and spiritual view on what constitutes death. I often wonder myself if human body / mind could ever possibly be started, suspended and resumed, in same fashion we can do with computers and machines. It is such a pleasant surprise that I found this discussion right here in the book. While the discussion is evidence based, which would certainly satisfy science hungry minds, Dr. Gupta successfully brings out the human aspect of life and death. The book caused me to think deeply about the ethical and scientific right(s) and wrong(s) when someone is declared death. Many of the stories are powerfully touching, particularly for those who have experienced similar challenges in life. It is worth having a hard copy of this book as well.
BTW, some people commented on the reading quality. On the contrary, I'd think if Dr Gupta were to be a teacher, those who could attend his lecture would be fortunate. Excellent reading, which keeps the audience engaged! The book is good, to the very end, with the interview conducted. I strongly recommend this book!
Why oh why do scientists and medical doctors insist on narrating their own writings? Sanjay Gupta is a great doctor and the book was fairly interesting but he narrated it himself in a monotone and with bad punctuation, and said the word "quote" so many times I could barely listen. Pay an actor or professional reader! Please!
"Didn't finish it"
I have a particular interest in this sort of thing and sadly there wasn't enough interest generated by the text to keep me listening and I gave up. I suspect this book might be better if abridged. Don't bother.
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