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Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care

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This groundbreaking book explains prognosis from the perspective of doctors, examining why physicians are reluctant to predict the future, how doctors use prognosis, the symbolism it contains, and the emotional difficulties it involves. Drawing on his experiences as a doctor and sociologist, Nicholas Christakis interviewed scores of physicians and searched dozens of medica This groundbreaking book explains prognosis from the perspective of doctors, examining why physicians are reluctant to predict the future, how doctors use prognosis, the symbolism it contains, and the emotional difficulties it involves. Drawing on his experiences as a doctor and sociologist, Nicholas Christakis interviewed scores of physicians and searched dozens of medical textbooks and medical school curricula for discussions of prognosis in an attempt to get to the core of this nebulous medical issue that, despite its importance, is only partially understood and rarely discussed. "Highly recommended for everyone from patients wrestling with their personal prognosis to any medical practitioner touched by this bioethical dilemma."—Library Journal, starred review "[T]he first full general discussion of prognosis ever written. . . . [A] manifesto for a form of prognosis that's equal parts prediction-an assessment of likely outcomes based on statistical averages-and prophecy, an intuition of what lies ahead."—Jeff Sharlet, Chicago Reader "[S]ophisticated, extraordinarily well supported, and compelling. . . . [Christakis] argues forcefully that the profession must take responsibility for the current widespread avoidance of prognosis and change the present culture. This prophet is one whose advice we would do well to heed."—James Tulsky, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine


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This groundbreaking book explains prognosis from the perspective of doctors, examining why physicians are reluctant to predict the future, how doctors use prognosis, the symbolism it contains, and the emotional difficulties it involves. Drawing on his experiences as a doctor and sociologist, Nicholas Christakis interviewed scores of physicians and searched dozens of medica This groundbreaking book explains prognosis from the perspective of doctors, examining why physicians are reluctant to predict the future, how doctors use prognosis, the symbolism it contains, and the emotional difficulties it involves. Drawing on his experiences as a doctor and sociologist, Nicholas Christakis interviewed scores of physicians and searched dozens of medical textbooks and medical school curricula for discussions of prognosis in an attempt to get to the core of this nebulous medical issue that, despite its importance, is only partially understood and rarely discussed. "Highly recommended for everyone from patients wrestling with their personal prognosis to any medical practitioner touched by this bioethical dilemma."—Library Journal, starred review "[T]he first full general discussion of prognosis ever written. . . . [A] manifesto for a form of prognosis that's equal parts prediction-an assessment of likely outcomes based on statistical averages-and prophecy, an intuition of what lies ahead."—Jeff Sharlet, Chicago Reader "[S]ophisticated, extraordinarily well supported, and compelling. . . . [Christakis] argues forcefully that the profession must take responsibility for the current widespread avoidance of prognosis and change the present culture. This prophet is one whose advice we would do well to heed."—James Tulsky, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine

49 review for Death Foretold: Prophecy and Prognosis in Medical Care

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calvin Olsen

    Was a bit repetitive, but decent. Read it for a class and it got me interested in his other work, so that's a plus. Was a bit repetitive, but decent. Read it for a class and it got me interested in his other work, so that's a plus.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charmian

  3. 4 out of 5

    Juan Carlos

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ann Higgins

  5. 5 out of 5

    Risa Denenberg

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  7. 4 out of 5

    Evan Hall

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suzana

    A must read for anyone interested in palliative care.

  9. 4 out of 5

    August

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Cable

  11. 4 out of 5

    Frances F

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

  13. 5 out of 5

    Deb

  14. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  15. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Rhodes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gary Hensley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vegetarian

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  21. 5 out of 5

    J Robert

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jorge García-méndez

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mmeguillotine

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Richard Ashcroft

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  32. 5 out of 5

    Life of a Doctor's Wife

  33. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  34. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  35. 4 out of 5

    Nanette Davis

  36. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  37. 5 out of 5

    Seiiti

  38. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

  39. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Miller

  40. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Darling

  41. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

  42. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo

  43. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  44. 5 out of 5

    Hollyy

  45. 5 out of 5

    Moriah

  46. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Mas

  47. 4 out of 5

    Steve Reinheimer

  48. 5 out of 5

    Fritz96 Electronica

  49. 4 out of 5

    Ali

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