A fine, timely evaluation of how many hysterectomies are necessary and how many ""are done to pay the doctor's rent, purchase a new Cadillac, or finance a Caribbean vacation."" Of the 750,000 women who will have their uteruses removed this year, 12,000 will die. The best safeguard is ""an informed patient,"" which is what Dr. Gifford-Jones (a pseudonym) makes the reader. He provides a detailed and thorough discussion (plus a question-and-answer section) on the reasons for hysterectomy along with down-to-earth advice. For example, how to avoid talking yourself into the operating room in a mistaken attempt to find ""a miracle cure for every ache and pain."" Above all, always ask ""Why?"" (""I never fail to be amazed at how many patients still have blind faith in their doctors."") The author candidly tells why surgeons do unnecessary hysterectomies. (Money, but also pride--""The tremendous egomania of some surgeons requires that they have long operating lists."") He offers helpful hints on how to choose a gynecologist (ask a nurse), what to do about a male chauvinist (change doctors), how to get the truth out of your doctor (tell him you're writing your will). ""If there is ever any doubt in your mind about the need for a hysterectomy, always obtain a second opinion."" For once, the doctor's not only at the patient's side, he seems to be on her side as well.