Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving... Cover Art

Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds (Hardcover)

By: Sanjay Gupta (Author) and Caleb Hellerman (Contributor)

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0 out of 5 stars Gupta misinforms about brain death, October 21, 2009
By Michael_Holloway
In the book, on his TV show, and in interviews promoting the book, Gupta is unmistakably confusing coma, persistant vegetative state, and brain death. Hes clearly linking his stories of recovery from vegetative state with brain death and organ procurement for transplantation. Brain death is an entirely separate condition from both persistant vegetative state, and coma. Mark Ragucci was never declared brain dead. The NIH (, and many other institions and organizations concerned with medical information, take pains to inform the public that there is a big difference. When a family is informed of a declaration of brain death they shouldnt have to feel that medical professionals are conspiring and failing to save their loved one. Yet Gupta seems determined to convince the public that brain death is just vegetative state, and that medical professionals are just reluctant to help the "brain dead". Why is he doing this? I can only guess. Its a far more dramatic story, and something sure to make him more money, to claim that more isnt done to save the brain dead because surgeons want organs for transplant. Organ transplantation has always sparked a primal irrational fear, generating more urban legends and ghoulish stories than any other medical procedure. Next of kin often refuse to allow organ donation because of the feeling that something ghoulish is being done with their loved one, and the suspicion that they are being allowed to die for someone elses benefit. Any number of news organizations, even respected ones, have, at one time or another, repeated the most bizarre urban legends of organ snatching as verified events. CNN has recently aired several reports claiming a vast US organ black market exists based on friend of a friend reports and one arrest of someone attempting to broker a kidney sale. Dont expect any followup reports or arrests.

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A 12-week old unborn baby with a fatal heart defect...a skier drowned for an hour in a frozen Norwegian lake...a comatose brain surgery patient...a teenager with four rapidly expanding tumors. Twenty years ago all of them would have been given up for dead-with no realistic hope for their survival. But today, thanks to incredible new advances by pioneering physicians and medical researchers, each of these individuals is alive and well, having literally cheated death.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta-neurosurgeon, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, and bestselling author-in Cheating Death, chronicles the almost unbelievable science that has made these seemingly miraculous recoveries possible, recoveries achieved by a bold new breed of doctors who refuse to accept that any life is irretrievably lost. Drawing on extensive case files and his unprecedented access to breaking news in his field, Dr. Gupta clearly and dramatically explains how revolutionary technological advances are extending our understanding of the human body's survival mechanism-and literally shifting the line between life and death. Through these deeply personal and often moving stories of medical triumphs over almost unthinkable barriers, Dr. Gupta transforms all our assumptions about the limits at the beginning and end of human life.

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