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The Good Doctor: A Father, a Son, and the Evolution of Medical Ethics

The Good Doctor A Father a Son and the Evolution of Medical Ethics The story of two doctors a father and son who practiced in very different times and the evolution of the ethical issues that profoundly influence health care As a practicing physician and longtime m

  • Title: The Good Doctor: A Father, a Son, and the Evolution of Medical Ethics
  • Author: Barron H. Lerner
  • ISBN: 9780807033401
  • Page: 218
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story of two doctors, a father and son, who practiced in very different times and the evolution of the ethical issues that profoundly influence health care As a practicing physician and longtime member of his hospital s ethics committee, Dr Barron Lerner thought he had heard it all But in the mid 1990s, his father, an infectious diseases physician, told him a stunninThe story of two doctors, a father and son, who practiced in very different times and the evolution of the ethical issues that profoundly influence health care As a practicing physician and longtime member of his hospital s ethics committee, Dr Barron Lerner thought he had heard it all But in the mid 1990s, his father, an infectious diseases physician, told him a stunning story he had physically placed his body over an end stage patient who had stopped breathing, preventing his colleagues from performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, even though CPR was the ethically and legally accepted thing to do Over the next few years, the senior Dr Lerner tried to speed the deaths of his seriously ill mother and mother in law to spare them further suffering.These stories angered and alarmed the younger Dr Lerner an internist, historian of medicine and bioethicist who had rejected physician based paternalism in favor of informed consent and patient autonomy The Good Doctor is a fascinating and moving account of how Dr Lerner came to terms with two very different images of his father a revered clinician, teacher and researcher who always put his patients first, but also a physician willing to play God, opposing the very revolution in patients rights that his son was studying and teaching to his own medical students.But the elder Dr Lerner s journals, which he had kept for decades, showed his son how his outdated paternalism had grown out of a fierce devotion to patient centered medicine that was rapidly disappearing in a world of managed care, spiraling costs and health care reform And they raised questions Are paternalistic doctors just relics or should their expertise be used to overrule patients and families that make ill advised choices Does the growing use of personalized medicine in which specific interventions may be best for specific patients change the calculus between autonomy and paternalism And how can we best use technologies that were invented to save lives but now too often prolong death In an era of high technology medicine, spiraling costs and healthcare reform, these questions could not be relevant As his father slowly died of Parkinson s disease, Dr Lerner faced these questions both personally and professionally He found himself being pulled into his dad s medical care, even though he had criticized his father for making medical decisions for his relatives Did playing God at least in some situations actually make sense Did doctors sometimes know best A timely and compelling story of one family s engagement with medicine over the last half century, The Good Doctor is an important book for those who treat illness and those who struggle to overcome it.

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      Published :2020-02-06T03:36:38+00:00

    About "Barron H. Lerner"

    1. Barron H. Lerner

      Barron H Lerner is a Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine Dr Lerner received his M.D in 1986 and his Ph.D in history in 1996 His book, The Breast Cancer Wars Hope, Fear and the Pursuit of a Cure in Twentieth Century America, published by Oxford University Press, received the William H Welch Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine and was named one of the 26 most notable books of 2001 by the American Library Association Dr Lerner has published extensively in scholarly journals and contributes essays to the the Science Times section of The New York Times, the Times Well blog, Slate, Atlantic and the Huffington Post He has also appeared on numerous NPR broadcasts, including Fresh Air, All Things Considered and Science Friday Dr Lerner s latest book, The Good Doctor A Father, A Son and the Evolution of Medical Ethics, was published by Beacon Press in May 2014.

    116 Comments

    1. Great Bookhad me hooked from the Prologue. A great look at the discussion of death and quality of life from two physicians. The son, Dr. Barron Lerner, goes through his father's journals which he kept for years. He discovers how his father was a patient-center physician, long before it was popular. The book looks at many end of life topics that arise in the medical field. As a person who has a family member currently in Hospice and has gone through this process before, I found this book so revea [...]


    2. What's the best way to practice medicine? That's the central theme of Dr. Lerner's book. He approaches the question as the son of a doctor who practiced medicine under the "paternalistic" model of an earlier generation and as a doctor and medical ethicist who today views the doctor-patient relationship as more of a partnership.Dr. Lerner thoroughly explores the good and bad of both approaches, especially as it relates to end-of-life care. His father believed strongly in the concept of medical fu [...]


    3. I really liked this book. I think it helps explain why so many currently practicing physicians feel unfulfilled in their careers and so many patients feel dissatisfied with the medical care they receive (even though that's not the point of the book). The book raises many important medical ethics questions -- most important, end-of-life decisions. But more than anything, the book tells the stories of father and son as physicians and how their experiences differed (in med school, in residency, and [...]


    4. I agree with others that this book is quite "inside baseball" and may not resonate with those lacking close personal ties to the topic. I am a physician, in the generation right between the two Drs. L. I went to med school at Case Western Reserve and then did my residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at University Hospital in Cleveland. After training I joined the full time academic faculty there, from 1983 to 2001, thus knowing Phillip Lerner, at least peripherally and by [...]


    5. Since I have two grandsons and a son-in-law in the medical profession I wanted to read this book to better understand the things they face in their daily work. This is a true account of a father and son, one who took on the burden of making decisions for his patients without consulting or telling them what was going on. He had an intense passion for his profession and his patients but his methods of practice would not be tolerated in this day and age. His son in writing the book learned things a [...]


    6. A simple read, and yet a wonderfully charming one. In The Good Doctor Barron Lerner compares the training and practice of today's generation of physicians with those of doctors before them. Along the way, he ponders how the discipline has advanced and evolved in its thinking, but is quite thoughtful about what qualities of physicians past might have been lost in this transition. As a physician-in-training, I found The Good Doctor challenged my thinking on topics like paternalism and shared-decis [...]


    7. I won this book from First-reads. This book is written by the son of a physician who also went on to become a doctor himself. It compares how ethics in the practice of medicine has changed from the time his father was a practicing physician to the author's own career as a doctor. I enjoyed this book. Although I have no formal background in medicine, the book clearly yet briefly explains medical terms used. It is a great read for anyone in the medical field, or not in the medical field but with [...]


    8. I received this book in exchange for a honest review. I am not usually a non- fiction reader. I prefer a story that I can dive into and leave my day to day stuff behind.I chose "The Good Doctor" because like many others I am trapped in the Five minute Doctor visit offered thru local HMO to those over 70. Recently I went to my primary Physican complaining of chest pains and her answer was "What do you want me to do about it?" So somehow I thought that reading this book would give me some amunitio [...]


    9. This book is primarily a biography of Barron Lerner's father, Phillip Lerner. It is also a Barron Lerner memoir and a history of changes in medical ethics over the professional lives of these two men. Oddly, I felt Barron Lerner does a much better job describing and defending his father's view than his own. Barron Lerner is a historian and bioethicist so it seems he would have opinions on current medical ethics, especially around one of the main themes of the book--dying. Yes, he covers what the [...]


    10. While Laura had been a trouper, Susan was frustrated and angry with her disease, which she survived for more than nine years. And my father became the receptacle for her vitriol. "She screams and carries on when the going gets tough," he wrote, "knowing that I understand and will never reproach her, never abandon her, whatever!"Care is a right and providing it is a privilege.


    11. A beautifully written tribute from a very talented, loving son to his equally talented, superhuman father/physician. The passion for medicine of both the father and son is conveyed convincingly. I wish that I had a Dr. Lerner as my doctor! The case for patient autonomy vs. paternalism is made clearly. Issues are brought down to the layman's level.


    12. I would give this 3.5 stars but bumped it to 4 here on . It's basically a biography of his father with some autobiography on the author. There was much I can relate to being a physician but I'm not sure non-medical readers would be as engrossed.


    13. A fascinating narrative for any amateur bioethics nerds. For twice as much fun, read it along with "Intern" by Doctor X (Alan Nourse), which is basically a similar observation made by a doctor in the elder Dr. Lerner's generation about the generation before him.


    14. I learned of this book when I heard the author interviewed on NPR. I found what he had to say to be really interesting and found his book was no different. I really enjoyed reading this and recommend it!



    15. Read this for book club at AAHPM annual meeting. Great discussion about the pitfalls of paternalism, of trying to be physician to your family, and the relative value of autonomy.





    16. Probably more detail about the history and changes in medicine than the average reader might be interested in. But I really enjoyed it. And the Jewish slant was also interesting.





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