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Harper Paperbacks

Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us about Being Human

Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us about Being Human

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"Sarah DiGregorio delves deeply into the fraught world of premature birth. With bracing honesty, she recounts her own story and the stories of other women who draw on the power of love and meld it with cutting-edge science, as they struggle to save the lives of their newborns. This book opens our minds and hearts to a world that is rarely seen with such clarity."--Jerome Groopman, MD, Recanati Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The Anatomy of Hope

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a place made of stories--where humanity, ethics, and science collide in dramatic and deeply personal ways, as parents, physicians, and nurses grapple with sometimes unanswerable questions raised by premature birth. When does life begin? When and how should life end? And what does it mean to be human? For the first time, journalist Sarah DiGregorio explores the fascinating evolution of neonatology and its significant breakthroughs--modern medicine can now save infants at five and a half months gestation who weigh less than a pound, when only fifty years ago there were few effective treatments for premature babies.

Weaving her own story and those of other parents and NICU clinicians with in-depth reporting, DiGregorio examines the history and future of one of the most boundary-pushing medical disciplines: how the first American NICU was set up as a sideshow on the Coney Island boardwalk; how modern advancements have allowed viability to be pushed to a mere twenty-two weeks; the political, cultural, and ethical issues that continue to arise in the face of dramatic scientific developments; and the clinicians at the front lines who are moving to new frontiers. Eye-opening and vital, Early uses premature birth as a window into our own humanity.

Author: Sarah DiGregorio
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Published: 02/15/2022
Pages: 368
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.55lbs
Size: 8.00h x 5.20w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780062820310
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