Life and Death Decisions
Fighting to save lives from disaster, disease and destruction
by Dr Lachlan McIver
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Pub Date 1 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 13 Feb 2024
Octopus Publishing, Endeavour
'Just brilliant. The book of the decade.' - Professor Tim Flannery, Former Australian of the Year
'An honest, powerful and riveting book that demonstrates Lachlan's courage in the face of the hardest of circumstances.' - Levison Wood, Award-winning author, explorer and photographer
'Wow. A hugely important and enjoyable book that will restore your faith in humanity and what is possible... Deeply moving and at times tragic but never losing a sense of optimism or hope.' - Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust
Lachlan was sixteen when he found his father dead on the side of a dirt road in North Queensland, Australia. He had suffered a sudden heart attack and died alone. It was this tragedy that motivated Lachlan to train as a doctor specialising in providing medical care for people living in remote, resource-deprived locations.
Lachlan's work with the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières has taken him to some of the world's most extreme environments, from the sinking islands of the Pacific to epidemics and war zones in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.
In this no-holds-barred memoir, Lachlan recounts his experiences treating patients ravaged by tropical diseases, managing war wounds with drug-resistant infections, delivering babies by the light of a head torch, dealing with the devastating effects of climate change and narrowly avoiding being kidnapped by militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tackling such impossible problems day in and day out inevitably takes a personal toll. Lachlan is ultimately forced to face his own battles with depression, alcohol abuse and bankruptcy.
Life and Death Decisions is a deeply human look at the personal cost of our broken global health system and a vital call to action.