Black Humor

Front Cover
Williams & Company, 2005 M01 31 - 404 pages
A medical novel of the near future. When Jeremiah Murray, M.D., general practitioner, abruptly walks out of his office leaving Patricia Gannon on an examining table and an office full of patients-in-waiting he marked a turning point both in his life and in the world of American medicine. In this stunning and powerful novel, J. Lewis Osler explores the malaise permeating the world of present day medicine and government, a malaise that will eventually erupt into anarchy. The story is told through a cast of powerfully drawn characters: the ever-idealist Jeremiah; John Masterson, the gregarious, persistent, desperate (and finally dead) spokesman for the beleaguered doctors; Dana Morris, the examining room seductress; Claude LaRoche, martyr to AIDS politics; the abortionist Glen Booth; Heidi Bogusch-Perez, third generation M.D. gone bureaucrat; and the orchestrator of disaster, Secretary of Health Affairs, Theodore Billings. Osler's account of the luncheon of the medical malpractice attorneys is a minor masterpiece in itself. All of this is set against a background rife with health service inquisitors rummaging uninvited-and warrantless-through patient's private files, insurance company flaks refusing to discuss best-treatment scenarios, spurious malpractice claims, and a society struggling to hold itself together in the face of the mindless meddling of self-serving politicians. This is, indeed, a novel with a point of view. After reading Black Humor, you will never think about the practice of medicine-or of the welfare state-in the same way again

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