"An immensely satisfying Medical Thriller with a Poignant Epilogue. Myles Edwin Lee, M.D. steps out of his scrubs as a cardiothoracic surgeon and into the rarified air of intelligent, informed, gifted writers with this, his first novel—The Donation. While other writers have frequently used the wonder and glamour and innately fascinating field of medicine as the topic of their novels, few have suceeded as well as Dr. Lee. This is not only a well-crafted thriller and mystery. It is also a story that by the book's end, raises some questions about life and death in our penal system that will challenge every reader fortunate enough to discover this book...This is no airport novel, but instead a work of artistic as well as scientific merit: readers who thrive on thrillers will be as satisfied as readers who seek out elegant and informative, philosophically softened stories. For a first novel (or for ANY novel) this is exceptional. Myles Edwin Lee, M.D. has found a new and most promising career! Highly recommended." Grady Harp, Los Angeles
Executing death row inmates by lethal injection and electrocution have sparked heated debate for decades. Is it possible there is an alternative solution that would eliminate the controversy of both these issues? This fascinating...novel by Myles Edwin Lee, board certified cardiothoracic surgeon, dives into the very heart of both these issues and adds a controversial possible solution, death by organ donation, which could spark debate for years to come. Recommended for adult readers who enjoy drama, suspense, controversial moral and ethical issues facing the criminal justice system and the medical field... Tonya Thul-Theis, Midwest Book Review
"A lot of doctors try to write novels and most don't do it very well. A fraction, Like Robin Cook, have great commercial success as writers. Others like William Carlos Williams and Walker Percy find literary fame...with The Donation, Dr. Lee joins the ranks of physicians who really can write. He tells a compelling tale in a hard, muscular prose style, evident from the start: 'He could have turned in the report to his superior at California's Health and Welfare Agency, but it lay strewn at his feet like the guts of an innocent bystander splattered by a shotgun blast over the pockmarked asphalt of an inner city street.'...a fine and entertaining novel of mystery, suspense, and morality." Writer's Digest
"Lee knows this territory like the inside of a chest cavity—the novel includes canny observations about hospital politics and the unseemly business end of medicine, along with well-observed medical procedures..." Kirkus Discoveries
"Readers of "The Donation" will be doubly blessed: an exciting, can't-put-down page-turner with behind-the-scenes glimpses into the labyrinth of hospital politics." Ronald L. Katz, M.D., former Professor and Chairman, Anesthesiology, UCLA School of Medicine and USC School of Medicine; former Chief of Staff, UCLA.
"Eloquent and suspenseful, this fast-paced novel is hard to put down. The intriguing plot takes the reader on a journey into rarely-witnessed ethical issues in the medical and judicial worlds. The author writes a compelling scenario with a series of momentous, fateful events that conclude with a surprising resolution. Insightful and thrilling. This is a must-read." Marthe Gravel, R.D., LDN.
"Although "The Donation" reads like a screenplay, it requires the reader to pause, to digest the dichotomy of real, conflicting, and infrequently-discussed issues raised by the story. I highly recommend this challenging book to everyone." Il Kim, M.D.
"An auspicious debut as a novelist!! The...character delineations are deft and the narrative, brisk—an engrossing yarn and a serious meditation on a major ethical dilemma in modern medicine." Cameron Messenger, Ph.D.
"What a novel. For Myles Lee's first novel, I was very impressed. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it. Not too long, not too short, it gets right to the point and delves into some of the most controversial issues in society today. As a plus, it is full of medical terminology and it never hurts to learn something new every day. Definitely an enjoyable read and I recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in thrillers, medicine, as well as society's view on the death penalty. Great read. BUY THIS BOOK!!" Anonymous
NEAR MISSES IN CARDIAC SURGERY
"'Near Misses in Cardiac Surgery' is a comprehensive look at common dilemmas encountered by cardiac surgeons and their associates before, during, and after procedures. Presenting cases similar to the Clinical Pathologic Conferences (CPC) in the New England Journal of Medicine many years ago, Myles Lee interweaves humor, coupled with thoughtful analysis and pertinent references, to create an in-depth learning curve for the surgeon and allied health care professionals who have likely confronted similar situations. The basis is that 'the data ask the questions' and then factual knowledge becomes blended into wisdom, followed by experience to set us upon the right road for gaining answers in a volume that wonderfully broadens our decision tree." Gerald Buckberg, M.D., D.Sc., Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, Ca.
"In the surgical battle for cardiac diseases, sudden unexpected complications are often life-threatening unless they are promptly recognized and dealt with. In this splendid book, Dr. Myles Lee shares from his long, rich experience in cardiac surgery such 'near misses,' vividly contributing both to residency training for the novice and continuing education for the more seasoned cutters and their teams. Highly recommended." Ray C.J. Chiu, M.D., Ph.D., FRCSC, FACS, FACC, Professor and Chair Emeritus, Cardiothoracic Surgery, McGill University health Center, Montreal, Canada.
"During the past century, surgeons began aggressive, direct treatment of cardiovascular diseases. With the advent of improved diagnostic techniques using digital and computerized methodology, less invasive procedures were introduced. Conditions which were once considered to be solely in the surgeon's domain have become correctable in in the cardiac catheterization or radiologic laboratories. In the present era of constant change, the physician and patient must be prepared to select the most appropriate treatment in a particular case. No matter which treatment modality the patient's physicians select— surgical, interventional, or a hybrid of both—the principles emphasized by Dr.Myles Lee in this book (the team concept, communication, vigilance, standardization and simplicity of techniques, anticipation of the next step) will facilitate success, as well as the welfare and comfort of the patient, even in todays's complex procedures. Denton A. Cooley, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief, Texas heart Institute
"With his original publication of this book, Dr. Myles Lee presented a unique, interesting, and effective way of learning how to recognize and avert sudden life-threatening catastrophes that invariably arise during the careers of all clinically active cardiac surgeons. I am delighted that Dr. Lee's important contribution to cardiac surgery is now being re-issued so that a new generation of surgeons and other professionals can benefit from his practical wisdom as we have benefited in the past. There are no better examples of the importance of 'an ounce of prevention' than one will find within these pages, and I highly recommend this book to all cardiac surgeons." James L. Cox, M.D., 81st President, The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
"Even the most experienced surgeons will benefit from reading 'Near Misses in Cardiac Surgery' by Dr. Myles Lee. Tirone David, M.D., Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto.
"The cases compiled from Dr. Lee's personal experience provide a window to the most stressed moments in the professional life of a cardiothoracic surgeon. They read like a medical thriller. Dr. Lee has an extraordinary gift in bringing to life the visceral feeling that the surgeon experiences when confronted with the unexpected and deadly during the course of what was supposed to have been a "routine" operation. Every case in the book demonstrates how the prepared mind of the experienced surgeon can channel the adrenalin rush of dread and fear into calm, deliberate, and organized action that ultimately saves his patient's life. In Kipling's words, 'If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you...you'll be a Man, my son!' In cardiac surgery, it is moments like these that separate the men from the boys, or to put it in gender-neutral terms, the professional from the amateur. Reading this book will help prepare you for the moment when the unexpected happens on your operating table." M. Arisan Ergin, M.D., Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Chief, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey.
"In his critical appraisal of several occurrences (or more accurately, near occurrences) in cardiac surgical patients, Dr. Myles E.Lee provides a reminder that unexpected adverse outcomes happen for a reason. We just don't always know what that reason is. If we are to succeed in our desire to create an atmosphere of patient safety we must make every attempt to understand the biology or systems issues at play when things go wrong. Dr. Lee has done an extraordinary job of showing how an honest appraisal of how the course of events are affected by his own judgment, the natural history of disease, and the support provided by his team, can avert potentially disastrous outcomes. Not only is the book a winner, it is a very timely and instructive example of how as clinicians in nearly any medical field, we can find ways to blamelessly analyze and correct our actions and create optimal systems of care so important for reducing medical errors." Richard J. Gray, M.D., Medical Director, CPMC Heart and Vascular Center and Sutter Pacific Heart Centers, San Francisco, CA.
"This human account, based on Lee's enormous wealth of knowledge and experience, delivers over and over one singular message: teamwork and communication are the keys to effective cardiovascular care. Students and veterans alike will benefit greatly from this text." Kelly D. Hedlund, M.S., CCP, Chief Perfusionist, The Michael E. Debakey Heart Institute of Kansas, Hays, Kansas.
"I first read 'Near Misses' when it was published 16 years ago. Its lessons are as fresh and instructive today as they were then, despite changing technologies and techniques. The ability to think on one's feet, rapidly evaluate critical situations, and make the best possible decisions, even in the face of incomplete information, is the sine qua non of the good surgeon. Surgeons who strive to be very good at their craft through continual improvement of their mental as well as manual skills will appreciate and benefit from this book." Robert M. Sade, M.D., Professor of Surgery; Director, Institute of Human Values in Health Care, Medical University of South Carolina.
"'Near Misses in Cardiac Surgery' is a unique contribution to the technical literature in cardiac surgery. Dr. Lee, an experienced cardiac surgeon, has compiled an extensive collection of real-life scenarios that will be useful to both new and more seasoned surgeons. One of the tenets of contemporary quality improvement is that the study of such 'near misses' can provide invaluable learning experiences. Most technical atlases provide a description of the ideal operation—how you would like things to happen. Dr. Lee gives us examples of how that idealized plan can often go awry. Most importantly, especially for younger surgeons, he demonstrates how such problems could have been averted and how to deal effectively with them." David M. Shahian, M.D., Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons Quality Measurement Task Force.
"An extremely informative and engaging read. The author's style and rhetoric add to the atmosphere of being the primary cardiac surgeon facing a new challenge on each page, and subsequently working toward a solution in a step-wise and logical manner. I would highly recommend this book to trainee surgeons who are reviewing for their final examinations and those about to embark on a career in the cardiac operating room." Darshan Reddy, Durban, South Africa