Not too long ago, there was no coming back from death. But
now, with revolutionary medical advances, death has become just another serious
As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired
by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a
creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasn’t
breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have
been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and
nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle.
If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead,
what about twelve hours? Or twenty-four? What would it take to revive someone
who had been frozen for one thousand years? And what does blurring the line
between life and death mean for society?
Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and
reveals just how far science has come. He begins in the eighteenth century,
when early attempts at resuscitation involved public displays of barrel
rolling, horseback riding (sort of), and blowing smoke up the patient’s various
orifices. He then takes us inside a sophisticated cryonics facility in the
Arizona desert, a dark room full of hibernating lemurs in North Carolina, and a
laboratory that puts mice into a state of suspended animation. The result is a
spectacular tour of the bizarre world of doctors, engineers, animal biologists,
and cryogenics enthusiasts trying to bring the recently dead back to life.
Fascinating, thought-provoking, and (believe it or not)
funny, Shocked is perfect for those
looking for a prequel—and a sequel—to Mary Roach’s Stiff or for anyone who likes to ponder the ultimate questions of
life and death. Download and start listening now!