Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine, All the Wild That Remains

Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine, All the Wild That Remains

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

  • Jul 17, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 1:42:02 mins

Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine (1:04) Guest: Dr. Sharon Kaufman, chair of the department of anthropology, history and social medicine at UC-San Francisco and author of “Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives and Where to Draw the Line.”  Medicine is Top of Mind. There’s nothing ordinary about the miracle of technology enabling Americans to live longer, healthier lives and survive ailments that even a few decades ago meant certain, swift death. But in her new book, “Ordinary Medicine,” medical anthropologist Sharon Kaufman argues that once clinical trials back up the power of a new breakthrough and insurers like Medicare decide to cover it, extraordinary treatments becomes ordinary. Expected. Impossible to turn down. And so, when an 85 year old gets a liver or kidney transplant or a defibrillator implanted in his chest to shock his heart back to life if it stops, we say – “Well, he’ll probably live another year or two as a result of the procedure. How can we deny him that? Even if it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid by Medicare? We value life at all costs.”  All the Wild That Remains (51:43) Guest: Professor David Gessner of the University of North Carolina Wilmington  The Wild West is Top of Mind. Not cowboys and Indians, or Great Train Robberies, but the wild landscape of the West. Its immensity attracted outlaws, gold diggers, and dreamers of every variety.  But nature writer David Gessner argues in his latest book that the grand valleys and majestic peaks of the West are deceptively fragile. He examines that dichotomy through the works of two iconic writers, and his book is called All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West.

Episode Segments