THE DEATH COMMITTEE by Noah Gordon

THE DEATH COMMITTEE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From The Rabbi to the doctors, none of whom get any sleep and probably you won't either since this has as compulsory a readability factor as any book about the profession since Intern. The death committee of the title meets every week in a Boston municipal institution headed by old (and failing) Dr. Longwood who lost his wife unnecessarily due to an error years before. The committee's a ""responsibility-fixer, a kind of professional pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey"" in which they decide what's Preventable or Unavoidable. Like the child who dies after a kidney transplant (this hospital's specialty) at the beginning. As for the doctors, besides Longwood--there are primarily Adam S. Iverstone, new resident, who has worked his way through the profession via a job in the morgue among others and in spite of an alcoholic father; Spurgeon Robinson, a Negro; and Meomartino, the Old Man's nephew by marriage to the congenitally unfaithful Liz. Spurgeon falls in love; so does Adam with a neurotic girl who has a real problem by the close--aplastic anemia; and Meomartino, who cannot salvage his marriage and has some other accountable errors, redeems himself anonymously by contributing a kidney to the Old Man who has always hated him. And more, and more, with an undeniable ambulance chasing, audience getting appeal. Not high-minded--but in excelsis in extremis.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1969
Publisher: McGraw-Hill