• Life and Death in Intensive Care

  • By: Joan Cassell
  • Narrated by: Laura Jennings
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-16-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.6 (5 ratings)

Regular price: $19.95

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Publisher's Summary

Life and Death in Intensive Care offers a unique portrait of the surgical intensive care unit (SICU), the place in medical centers and hospitals where patients with the gravest medical conditions - from comas to terminal illness - are treated. Author Joan Cassell employs the concept of moral economies to explain the dilemmas that patients, families, and medical staff confront in treatment. Drawing upon her fieldwork conducted in both the United States and New Zealand, Cassell compares the moral outlooks and underlying principles of SICU nurses, interns, doctors, and surgeons. Using real life examples, Life and Death in Intensive Care clearly presents the logic and values behind the SICU as well as the personalities, procedures, and pressures that characterize every case. Ultimately, Cassell demonstrates the differing systems of values, and the way cultural definitions of medical treatment inform how we treat the critically ill.
©2005 Joan Cassell (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks
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Critic Reviews

"Cassell's book deserves a wide audience both in and beyond medical sociology." (The American Journal of Sociology)
"A valuable addition to our growing understanding of our technology - and bureaucracy - intensive hospital system." (Charles E. Rosenberg, Harvard University)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Daryl on 02-12-17

A Little too.... Clinical

I started out liking this book immensely. The differences between an American style healthcare system (the USA) and a socialist one (New Zealand) was compellingly drawn... at first.
It begins with the nurses, their roles, their frustrations. Then is moves on to the residents, and the fellows. Each has a different role to play, and I was fascinated by the historical information of how hospitals have changed their workloads and expectations.
And yet, about halfway through the book, New Zealand only received token mentions here and there, only as a contrast to how the SICUs were run in the USA. It became more like a doctoral thesis on the American system of healthcare. One chapter was dedicated exclusively to New Zealand and how things are done there, but by the time I got there, I had listened to hours of often repetitive information, and so many "subjects" that I couldn't keep them straight.
The narrator did an admiral job with the material she had; I would listen to another one of her narrations.
Perhaps this will be a book I pick up again. If you read the first half, it's compelling and readable. After that, I'd pick it up another day.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nomi on 03-09-17


Interesting and informative. Especially for someone like me who didn't know most of this. Definitely worth a listen.

The narrator did a good job.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Boko on 04-04-18


I loved everything about this book, and found all aspects of it intriguing.
I will probably listen to it again, as it goes right to the top of my list and there is so much to take in. The author demonstrates a deep love of her profession, but doesn't hesitate to describe the less functional areas that occur, and how they are felt with.

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