A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine
On Sale: April 26, 2012
Hardcover / e-Book
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San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse
in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu
(God's hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages.
Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and
thieves-"anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard
times" and needed extended medical care-ended up here. So
did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for
Laguna Honda, lower tech but human
paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of
attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually,
the place transformed the way she understood her work.
Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be
fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of
the body as a garden to be tended. God's Hotel tells
their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as
efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended,
determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility,"
revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost,
and value of caring for body and soul.
Tell Me More - October 11, 2012
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