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See Inside Scientific American Volume 311, Issue 3

Book Review: Shocked

Books and recommendations from Scientific American
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book jacket



Credit: Current

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Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead
by David Casarett
Current, 2014

“Although the science that makes resuscitation possible is amazing, its costs—financial, ethical, and emotional—can be enormous,” writes Casarett, a hospice physician. His book tells stories of miraculous returns from the brink of death, as well as sadder tales of people “saved” from dying only to linger on in a brain-dead limbo that arguably brought worse pain to the patients and their families. Casarett offers no easy answers, but many compelling questions, in this investigation of the history and possible future of resuscitation, suspended animation, cryogenic preservation and other death-defying procedures. “Maybe if someone can't be revived quickly and easily, we should leave well enough alone?” he writes. “Most of all, I wonder how this tech–nology is going to change the way that we die.”

This article was originally published with the title "Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead."

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