Back in the 1990’s, my husband and I spent a year working at one of the largest hospitals in West Virginia.  The patients were the nicest people in the world, and the hospital staff was terrific—kind, generous, and hard working.  Some of the surgeons were excellent, but others definitely were not.   My husband (a cardiac anesthesiologist) and I had to cope with surgical complications the likes of which we had ...

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The glittering commercialism and noisy cheer of the holiday season can be stressful for any of us.  But for the parent who’s lost a child during the past year, facing the first Thanksgiving and Christmas with an empty place at the table can make already unbearable grief so much worse. No one in modern America expects a child to die.  Children only die in nineteenth century novels and third-world countries, or ...

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No matter how quickly you tried to switch the television channel lately, you probably couldn’t escape the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray or avoid hearing about propofol, an anesthesia drug that can be fatally easy to use. What you may not have heard is that the American people just dodged a serious threat to their anesthesia care, and most don’t know how near a miss it was. The Centers for Medicare and ...

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