This book is a memoir by a neurosurgeon who, as he was nearing the end of his residency, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. In the first part of the book, the author describes his decision to pursue a medical career. With references to classical texts, he discusses how he began his search to understand death and morality through literature, and ultimately concluded that he needed clinical experiences to effectively explore these issues. The second part of the book describes his diagnosis and the painful transition from a doctor who observes suffering to a patient who experiences it. What is most uplifting about this book is the authors consistent emphasis on the value of health care that recognizes the person and his or her goals, not just the disease and its trajectory.
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Book Reviews| August 01 2016
When Breath Becomes Air
Kalanithi P. New York, NY: Random House; 2016. Hardcover; 256 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0812988406
Crit Care Nurse (2016) 36 (4): 85.
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When Breath Becomes Air. Crit Care Nurse 1 August 2016; 36 (4): 85. doi:
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