ETHICS ON CALL

A MEDICAL ETHICIST SHOWS HOW TO TAKE CHARGE OF LIFE-AND-DEATH CHOICES

A practical primer on how to safeguard your right to make your own decisions about medical care. With the assistance of health-writer Nimmons, Dubler, a Harvard-trained lawyer and clinical ethicist at N.Y.C.'s Montefiore Medical Center, shares her knowledge of how hospitals operate and what powerful forces influence health-care decisions today. To avoid dependency on ``the uncertain kindness of strangers,'' she recommends that patients use the procedure developed by her ``ethics SWAT team'' to help resolve issues: first, clarify the medical facts; next, find out the possible options and their consequences; then, understand how the options fit one's own personal values. Ideally, decisions are made by the patient, but, as Dubler stresses, in the real world of modern medicine this is often not the case. In fact, life-and-death decisions may be made by concerned but uncertain and confused family members, by professional caregivers whose priorities are not the same as those of the patient, or even by courts and bureaucrats. The issues in many of the case studies Dubler describes are familiar—the right to refuse care, the right to die, the rights of parents over the care of their children, the right of access to scarce resources, such as organs for transplant or beds in an ICU—but Dubler presents them with a rare clarity. A staunch advocate of planning, she offers suggestions on how to gather needed information, how to examine your values with the help of a value-history form, how to document wishes in a living will and a videotape, and how to designate a proxy decision-maker. A superb guidebook to issues most of us would rather not think about—but should.

Pub Date: May 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-517-58399-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1992

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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