Extreme Mea­sures

  • From the Publisher
May 16, 2017

Jes­si­ca Zit­ter became a doc­tor because she want­ed to be a hero. She elect­ed to spe­cial­ize in crit­i­cal care — to become an ICU physi­cian — and imag­ined her­self swoop­ing in to res­cue patients from the brink of death. Extreme Mea­sures charts Zitter’s jour­ney from want­i­ng to be one kind of hero to becom­ing anoth­er — a doc­tor who pri­or­i­tizes the patient’s val­ues and pref­er­ences in an envi­ron­ment where the default choice is the extreme use of tech­nol­o­gy. In our cur­rent med­ical cul­ture the old and the ill are put on what she terms the End-of-Life Con­vey­or belt. In her work Zit­ter has learned what patients fear more than death itself: the prospect of dying bad­ly. She builds bridges between patients and care­givers, for­mu­lates plans to allay patients’ pain and anx­i­ety, and enlists the sup­port of loved ones so that life can end well even beau­ti­ful­ly. Filled with rich patient sto­ries that make a com­pelling med­ical nar­ra­tive, Extreme Mea­sures enlarges the nation­al con­ver­sa­tion as it thought­ful­ly and com­pas­sion­ate­ly exam­ines an expe­ri­ence that defines being human.

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