~When Doctor's Kill~ REVIEWED by Dr. Perper & Dr. Cina & an Interview with Dr. Steve Cina

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Description:
Some readers may be shocked by the title of this book, and some may wonder if it is necessary to raise the uncomfortable issue of doctors killing their patients. Murder is clearly antithetical to the art and science of medicine, which is geared toward easing pain and saving lives rather than harming them. Nevertheless, doctors are people too. Physicians have the same genetic library of enabling qualities and defects as the rest of us, but their vocation places them in a position where both faculties good and bad can be exercised.
When Doctors Kill covers the expansive breadth of the maniacs of medicine, as it presents a brief historical background that explains the social, psychological and professional profile of healers. It continues with outline of infamous serial killer physicians throughout the world, some of who chose dictatorship or terrorism over healing. The book concludes with a look at current fashions and trends in medicine. Complementary medicine and alternative therapies may have brought relief to many patients, but they have also resulted in disability, suffering, and death. Through the review of a few high profile, drug-related fatalities, the celebrity-physician relationship will be explored.
Dr. Perper and Dr. Cina have a combined medical experience spanning 60 years. As forensic pathologists, they witness death daily and have investigated hundreds of murders. They accept that most doctors are a force for good, but their book contains accounts of horrible atrocities and features descriptions of graphic murders committed by healers. By shining a cold light on the risks patients face today given the wide array of treatment options, the authors aim to accurately relay the circumstances of when, how, and why doctors kill.

My Interview with Dr. Steve Cina

Out of all of the specialties in the medical field what was it about Pathology that made you choose it?
I originally thought I would enter orthopedic surgery since I had been operated on these specialists several times in high school and college. As I became more exposed to the field, I began to realize that if I pursued this career I could basically become a “knee guy” or “shoulder guy” and do the same 5 operations for the rest of my life. In medical school, I was first exposed to pathology and I became intrigued. I had always had a microscope when I was a little kid and forgot how much I loved looking at cellular detail. In pathology, the variety encountered in your daily practice is endless. You diagnose cancer, dysplasia, infection, inflammatory conditions, and all variants of normal anatomy and physiology. You also become familiar with all type of abnormalities in body fluids coming to the laboratory. If you specialize in forensic pathology, you can add to that gunshot wounds, blunt force, sharp force, toxicology and all manners of death. In forensic pathology, every day is different and challenging.

What is the best and worst part of your job?
The best part of the job is the variety you see on a day to day basis-it is impossible to get board. Visiting crime scenes, testifying in court, and working with the police to solve cases is also very satisfying. The worst part is counseling bereaved families. Every case that I see is someone’s father or son or mother or daughter or husband or wife. It can be emotionally draining-you have to focus on the fact that if you do your job well you can help them and society in general.

As a forensic pathologist has your work been instrumental in solving cases?
You can’t begin to prosecute a crime unless you have a cause and manner of death; that is where my work comes in. Forensic pathologists help put guilty people in jail and ensure that innocent people are not wrongly imprisoned. Further, they play a valuable role in public health. Many traffic safety issues came about through the work of forensic pathologists, particularly through the efforts of Dr. Joe Davis, the former Chief M.E. in Miami. The Hantavirus epidemic a few years back was also first recognized by the forensic pathologists in New Mexico.

In reading the press release about When Doctor’s Kill this book reveals how doctors have been involved in killing their patients – even some of our celebrities like Elvis, Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith, and Heath Ledger. Were you personally involved in any of these cases? Obviously not Elvis.
Anna Nicole Smith came through our Office. This experience led us to develop Guidelines for the Management of High Profile Cases which was published in an international pathology journal.

What, if any is your opinion about Gary Coleman’s recent death.
I haven’t followed this one-too many other cases going on!

Do you think every day patients are at risk of being killed by their physicians or just those with large bank accounts and able to pay a doctor to do their bidding?
Let me first state that doctors are good people and the vast majority are doing the best job they can for their patients. Considering all of the doctors who have ever practiced, we were able to cover the prolific serial murderers, dictators, terrorists, and other killers in a relatively small book. That says a lot. If patients die, chances are it is related to a natural disease process rather than through the actions of their physician. I will say that the ethics of some doctors who distribute drugs indiscriminately, those who operate “pill mills”, are not doing their patients a service. These doctors are basically practicing like the celebrity physicians we hear about on TV but on a more discrete scale. Efforts are underway to try to curtail this practice but it is a major problem.

What does the average day of a Pathologist look like?
Most pathologists are not forensic pathologists. The average pathologist’s day involves looking at slides to diagnose disease and supervising hospital laboratories. Many people are not aware that your pathologist is your other primary care doctor. Any time a biopsy or mass is removed from a patient or any time a lab test is drawn, the pathologist makes a diagnosis and works with the patient’s clinician to ensure that the best course of action is taken to treat the patient. Pathologists just tend to keep a lower profile but they are available to answer questions. The College of American Pathologists, the country’s largest pathology organization, has even put together two useful websites to help patients. Mybiopsy.org provides information to help figure out what their biopsy report means. Myhealthtestreminder.org allows patients to set up email reminders for common screening tests.

Forensic pathology is a bit different. A day may begin with a 3:00 AM call to a homicide scene followed by 4 or 5 autopsies, microscopic slide review, a trial in the afternoon, and paperwork. Actually, that is a pretty nightmarish day. Most days involve only 2 or 3 of the activities above, but sometimes things get a bit crazy.

What was it like writing this book together?
It was great working with Dr. Perper-he is a brilliant man (in addition to being my boss)! In general, he wrote drafts for most of the chapters and did all the research and I tried to massage his prose into something you might enjoy reading on a plane, at the beach, or whenever you have some free time. It is educational and informative, but I believe very readable.

Did you each write a separate chapter?
I wrote the chapters on Fictional Physicians and the section on Anna Nicole Smith. He wrote the rest and I edited it.

Besides having people read and enjoy your book, what would you like them to learn from it?
That your doctor is trying to do the best job possible for you despite working in an environment of increasing governmental regulation, diminishing reimbursement, a constant fear of lawsuits, and leaving school hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. But doctors are people just like the rest of us-we are not perfect. We do make mistakes, and rare doctors do some terrible things-once again, just like the rest of us.

Please feel free to share anything you would like with my readers.
I think I can sum up my feelings with the dedication in the book directed at my 4 children: “Most doctors are good people---in fact, why don’t one of you become one!”

Steve Cina, MD

Thanks! I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions. I found this book very interesting on many levels. There are 21 chapters in this book and each one reads like it's own book in itself. I found myself getting lost in the information and fancinated by what I thought I knew. Chapter 3 on Alpha Killers which included Jack the Ripper was not only interesting it was quite eye opening. While there is a vast of information none of it is boring, or will put you to sleep. This book reads like a novel at least it did for me and kept me wanting to know more. I highly recommend this book. As a former homeschooling parent I would even recommend this book for homeschoolers. This would be a great reference tool and a book that would be a great read for your students.

Devil In Pew Number Seven

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Devil in Pew Number Seven

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 2, 2010)

***Special thanks to Christy Wong of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

Becky Alonzo never felt safe as a child. Although she lived next door to the church her father pastored, the devil lived across the street. This tormented man terrorized her family with rifle shots and ten bombings. When these violent acts didn't scare them away, he went even further. During dinner one evening, seven-year-old Becky and her younger brother watched as their parents were gunned down. Today Becky speaks about betrayal and the power of forgiveness. She is a graduate of Missouri State University and has been involved in ministry, including a church plant, youth outreach, and missions, for thirteen years. She and her husband, along with their two children, live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414326599
ISBN-13: 978-1414326597


Walking, Crawling, Dead or Alive

I ran.

My bare feet pounding the pavement were burning from the sunbaked asphalt. Each contact between flesh and blacktop provoked bursts of pain as if I were stepping on broken glass. The deserted country road, stretching into the horizon, felt as if it were conspiring against me. No matter how hard I pushed myself, the safe place I was desperate to reach eluded me.

Still, I ran.

Had a thousand angry hornets been in pursuit, I couldn’t have run any faster. Daddy’s instructions had been simple: I had to be a big girl, run down the street as fast as my legs could carry me, and get help. There was nothing complicated about his request. Except for the fact that I’d have to abandon my hiding place under the kitchen table and risk being seen by the armed madman who had barricaded himself with two hostages in my bedroom down the hall. I knew, however, that ignoring Daddy’s plea was out of the question.

And so I ran.

Even though Daddy struggled to appear brave, the anguish in his eyes spoke volumes. Splotches of blood stained his shirt just below his right shoulder. The inky redness was as real as the fear gnawing at the edges of my heart. I wanted to be a big girl for the sake of my daddy. I really did. But the fear and chaos now clouding the air squeezed my lungs until my breathing burned within my chest.

My best intentions to get help were neutralized, at least at first. I remained hunkered down, unable to move, surrounded by the wooden legs of six kitchen chairs. I had no illusions that a flimsy 6 x 4 foot table would keep me safe, yet I was reluctant to leave what little protection it afforded me.

In that space of indecision, I wondered how I might open the storm door without drawing attention to myself. One squeak from those crusty hinges was sure to announce my departure plans. Closing the door without a bang against the frame was equally important. The stealth of a burglar was needed, only I wasn’t the bad guy.

Making no more sound than a leaf falling from a tree, I inched my way out from under the table. I stood and then scanned the room, left to right. I felt watched, although I had no way of knowing for sure whether or not hostile eyes were studying my movements. I inhaled the distinct yet unfamiliar smell of sulfur lingering in the air, a calling card left behind from the repeated blasts of a gun.

I willed myself to move.

My bare feet padded across the linoleum floor.

I was our family’s lifeline, our only connection to the outside world. While I hadn’t asked to be put in that position, I knew Daddy was depending on me. More than that, Daddy needed me to be strong. To act. To do what he was powerless to do. I could see that my daddy, a strong ex–Navy man, was incapable of the simplest movement. The man whom I loved more than life itself, whose massive arms daily swept me off my feet while swallowing me with an unmatched tenderness, couldn’t raise an arm to shoo a fly.

To see him so helpless frightened me.

Yes, Daddy was depending on me.

Conflicted at the sight of such vulnerability, I didn’t want to look at my daddy. Yet my love for him galvanized my resolve. I reached for the storm-door handle. Slow and steady, as if disarming a bomb, and allowing myself quick glances backward to monitor the threat level of a sudden ambush, I opened the storm door and stepped outside. With equal care, I nestled the metal door against its frame.

I had to run.

I shot out from under the carport, down the driveway, and turned right where concrete and asphalt met. The unthinkable events of the last five minutes replayed themselves like an endless-loop video in my mind. My eyes stung, painted with hot tears at the memory. Regardless of their age, no one should have to witness what I had just experienced in that house—let alone a seven-year-old girl. The fresh images of what had transpired moments ago mocked me with the fact that my worst fears had just come true.

I had to keep running.

Although I couldn’t see any activity through the curtains framing my bedroom window, that didn’t mean the gunman wasn’t keeping a sharp eye on the street. I hesitated, but only for a moment more. What might happen gave way to what had happened. I had to get help. Now, almost frantic to reach my destination, I redoubled my efforts.

I ran on.

To get help for Momma and Daddy. To escape the gunman. To get away from all the threatening letters, the sniper gunshots, the menacing midnight phone calls, the home invasions—and the devil who seemed to be behind so many of them.

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

My Thoughts: I requested to read and review this book because after living all over the U.S. as a child I had never come across a hateful church until I moved to VA as a married adult. People there actually believed that because they help build the church they owned it and could tell the pastor what to do and what not to do. Sadly the pastor got ran out of the church for ridiculous reasons. It is really awful when people allow the devil to use them for this kind of purpose. Read this book, it will give you a new perspective on how we can be used by the devil, yet more importantly how God can use us to minister to our pastoral staff.
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