Nine Weeks of Must-Read Books for Professional Care Providers
Week 4—Healthcare Ethics
In honor of the highest-selling month for books, and the cold weather during which it’s more tempting to curl up and read, I’m posting those books and videos I most recommend to caring professionals in practice and to which I refer in my trainings.
Mama Might Be Better Off Dead, Laurie Kaye Abraham
I probably would not have read this book had I not been made to by one of my favorite professors in my doctoral program. A reporter from the Chicago Sun Times followed 4 generations of an economically poor African American family as one of its members, Jackie Banes, tries to hold it all together.
With several major medical issues in the family, this was easier said than done. Navigating insurance, healthcare, and all the other systems designed to care for persons involves creativity to keep from falling into the massive cracks in their design. It was my first glimpse of the fact that many persons are not opportunistic or crooked or lazy, as some assert, but are simply working to survive a system more akin to a jungle than a safety net.
This straightforward text will make you think, make you re-think, and likely soften your edges and open your eyes.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot.
I love this book! This best seller describes the history behind the HeLa cells used in research and the development of life-saving medications and bought and sold for enormous sums of money. The catch is they were taken from a poor, black, tobacco farmer in 1951 without her knowledge or permission.
With persons in medicine making money off of this woman’s cells, her family saw none of it. Secrecy, medical ethics, race, class, and many other factors bob and weave around the personal grief of a family who felt betrayed and the conflicts that can arise when some seek the greater good at the expense of what it right.
It will jar you, challenge you, shock you, and open a world about which you probably have never even heard. Don’t miss wrestling with this story.
Healing at the Speed of Sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Our Lives, Don Campbell & Alex Doman.
Drawing on over 10 years of brain research provides information, practical tips, and even exercises to help us understand and make positive use of the sounds that constantly surround us, and can impact our world for better or worse.
Insightful, useful for individuals and professionals seeking to support others, and even fun. You’ll love this book and how it informs your ability to make use of sound even in your work.
I’m itching to get my hands on this book and looking for a window of time to get it off of my nightstand and into my hands! Having not yet read it, I will defer a description to that provided on Amazon:
“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia’s parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman’s compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest.
The current edition, published for the book’s fifteenth anniversary, includes a new afterword by the author that provides updates on the major characters along with reflections on how they have changed Fadiman’s life and attitudes.”
Once again, I hope something here has been helpful or inspiring. Be watching for next week’s post on books related to End of Life Healthcare. Until then, please share your own most-recommended reads with me, so I can share them with others.
Rev. Carla Cheatham, MA, MDiv, PhD, TRT has served hospices as a chaplain and bereavement coordinator. She’s the Section Leader for the Spiritual Caregivers Section of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and an adjunct professor at the Seminary of the Southwest. Through her Carla Cheatham Consulting Group, Carla provides training and consulting for professional caregivers nationwide. She is the author of Hospice Whispers: Stories of Life and its companion volume, Sharing Our Stories: A Hospice Whispers Grief Support Workbook. Her next book, On Showing Up with Suffering: Others’ and Our Own, is set to publish in 2017.