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One Life at a Time - by Daniel Baxter (Hardcover)

One Life at a Time - by  Daniel Baxter (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1
One Life at a Time - by  Daniel Baxter (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1
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About this item


Number of Pages: 312

Genre: Medical

Sub-Genre: Diseases

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Author: Daniel Baxter

Language: English

Street Date: June 26, 2018
TCIN: 53453270
UPC: 9781510735767
Item Number (DPCI): 248-68-4342


"In 2002, Baxter (The Least of These My Brethren: A Doctor's Story of Hope and Miracles on an Inner-City AIDS Ward, 1997) traveled to the African nation to manage a new program intended to help the many thousands of Botswanans infected with HIV/AIDS. Brimming with "naive altruism" and certain that his experiences treating HIV/AIDS patients in New York had prepared him for the task, he was soon confronted by a crisis more massive than he had imagined. The author observed his patients from a distance, dutifully pronouncing their lives to be even more important "than those of people in the States." But his interactions with his patients soon made him see the "arrogance" of his attitude. One of Baxter's first patients was Comfort, a 10-year-old girl suffering from malnutrition and an undiagnosed case of HIV. His intervention helped Comfort regain some of her health, but Baxter could do nothing to stop her family from letting her die because they considered her "an albatross, a burden." To the author's enduring shame, he realized that his "grand gesture" had been more important to him than Comfort's fate. As he learned how to navigate cultural differences and dispense with his own egotism, Baxter also witnessed the many problems inherent in the Botswana medical system, including shortages in qualified staff and medicines. He returned to the U.S. in 2008 believing he had come to "a new awareness about...the suffering that all of us endure." Instead, he found American patients to be demanding and the American medical system "dysfunctional beyond words." A second sojourn in Botswana helped him finally come to terms not only with his attitude toward the American medical establishment, but also the deeper, more personal meaning of his time in Africa. Rich in memorable patient portraits, Baxter's book is at once a meditation on lives saved and lost as well as a testament to the challenges inherent in humanitarian work.

An honest, moving memoir giving voice to those without one."
"Daniel Baxter's memoir of caring for AIDS patients in Botswana reminds us that one of the most important responsibilities of the physician is to bear witness: to bring out of the occult spaces of the human body and the world this vivid testimony, both of the devastation wrought by neglect, and of the difference made by those who do not turn away."
--Terrence Holt, MD, author of Internal Medicine
"Dr. Baxter tells the story of Botswana's struggle with AIDS, with the insight of a medical expert and the compassion of a decent human being. Despite the enormous progress that has been made in the treatment of AIDS, the epidemic will continue to be with us for a long time to come. This book forces us to face a world of suffering, but it is also brings a message of hope."
--Anthony Appiah, author of Cosmopolitanism and The Lies that Bind
"Rather than presenting the AIDS epidemic as a blur of statistics and pharmaceutic advances, Dan Baxter shows us the human side of the disease, presenting patients who are by turns dignified and infuriating, tragic and humorous. If you want talking points about AIDS, read a textbook; but if you want to know what it feels like to live and work in a world overwhelmed by the virus, read One Life at a Time."
--Kent Septkowitz, MD, Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease, Weill Cornell Medical School

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