Phillip Hawley, Jr. : Stigma : Book Review


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Non-stop action, much of it associated with medical research and experiments. The book begins with an attempted kidnapping to keep medical secrets regarding malaria vaccines to treat various types of malaria through animals and humans. Tests that ran astray, and ended up killing many, were out there and this young boy couldn't be allowed to be seen by medical professionals.

While examining a suspected young female child abuse case, Dr. Luke McKenna had a dying young boy from Guatemala brought to the emergency room of University Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Were his hands full? As Luke was tied up with the abuse victim, another resident attended to the boy. The young boy was never supposed to have made it that far but rather be taken and hidden or killed so no one could see what was going on in this child’s body.

Megan Callahan was a third-year pediatric resident at Children’s Hospital and was the first to examine the young Guatemalan child. Megan was also an ex-romantic associate of Luke’s. Megan had planned a trip to a clinic in Guatemala to distance herself from Luke and she was anxious to get on her way, but this boy from the very nation to which she was going gave her increased interest. An examination of the boy showed his blood counts off the wall as well as everything in his body. The boy didn’t make it despite all the work Megan and her associates did to save him.

A huge muscled man ran into the emergency room and demanded to see his wife and child (the suspected abuse victim). He was an NFL player in very good physical shape and he flaunted that condition as he tried to force his way into the examining rooms. At that time, Luke happened to be busily moving through and even though he was a smaller man, he was in good shape and was determined to stop this forceful man pushing his way through anyone in the ER. Luke tussled with him and even though Luke was hurting after the engagement, the football player was in worse shape. Luke then continued on to the area where Megan was examining the Guatemalan boy. He just stood in the background and let her finish her work. The football player eventually filed a suit against Luke and the hospital, but that’s another part of the story.

Have I piqued your interest in reading an excellent book? The above part of the book, while very intriguing, is but a small part of the action that flows from the jungles of Guatemala, research laboratories in Guatemala and Los Angeles, intense police work in Los Angeles, to the almost impossible task of finding out who to believe and trust in all of the above areas. The story is very plausible and makes the reader think of such an experiment going awry in today’s highly technical and medical world. Some groups force experiments before they are ready for humans and “Stigma’s” author, Philip Hawley, Jr. makes this case in a superb story.



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