Critical Decisions: Blurbs

“There are few topics more in need of a book in the choice-loving U.S. than “who decides” when it comes to medical decision making. And there is no person alive (I mean that literally) better equipped to write such a book than Peter Ubel. He has spent his career both as a doctor (who actually treats patients), and simultaneously as a trail blazer in medical ethics and in the study of how people make medical decisions. And he writes beautifully. Sign him up!”
Barry Schwartz, Swarthmore College
Author of The Paradox of Choice and of Practical Wisdom

“There cannot be many physicians in the world who also do serious psychological research and explore the ethical dilemmas of their profession. And it is unlikely that there is anyone besides Peter Ubel who can do all these things extremely well and is also a good writer.”
Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University
Nobel Laureate in Economics

“One of the little noted revolutions in recent medicine is that of a great change in the doctor-patient relationship together with increased pressure on patients to make more of their own medical decisions. This is increasingly difficult territory for patients and they get little help in knowing how to navigate it. Peter Ubel is uniquely qualified to help them. He understands the needs of patients, the complexity of dealing with often confusing medical information, and he knows how to write about those crucial matters in an interesting and engaging way. His book can help get us out of the wilderness of the new world of patient choices.”
Daniel Callahan
President Emeritus and co-founder of The Hastings Center

“Peter Ubel is a top notch scientist and writer. His ideas are important, his style is accessible (with the right balance of humor and compassion) and his topic is timely. We need someone like Peter, no—we need Peter—to help us sort out how patients and their doctors can better work together to make these important decisions.”
Dan Gilbert, Harvard University
Author of Stumbling on Happiness
Host of This Emotional Life

“I have mixed feelings about the book.”
Frank A. Ubel
(aka Peter’s Dad…Sigh)

“This is an important book which comes at a time of revolution in the doctor-patient relationship: a change in clinical practice from one where physicians prescribe treatments to one based on a partnership between physician and patient based on informed patient choice. For the past 20 years, Peter Ubel has been a leading researcher and thought leader in preparing the intellectual basis for this revolution. In The Other End of the Stethoscope, he tells us about his efforts and his experiences. Targeted to a broad audience, patients, policy makers, and clinicians (as well as researchers) have much to learn from him about how best to incorporate the patient’s point of view into medical decision making.”
John Wennberg M.D., Dartmouth Medical School
Peggy Y. Thomson Professor and Chair for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences
Founder of the Dartmouth Atlas

“Ubel has been caring for very sick patients and thinking deeply about very difficult problems for quite a while. And so this man, this physician, knows what he is talking about. And it is wonderful to witness the evolution in his own thinking and practice, so eloquently described both in anecdotes about real patients and in experiments that he has so cleverly constructed in his lab. Ubel is widely admired for his soft-spoken, sympathetic style of doctoring, and also for his innovative research. His book offers a valuable and engaging new synthesis of where we are in the strange and difficult world of doctors and patients facing serious illness.”
Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Sociology, Harvard University
Author of Connected

“There is no one better at helping regular people- patients and their families- navigate the difficult waters of medical decision making. He is a master at integrating the best of the decision sciences with the best of medical ethics, in ways that make sense for expert and lay person alike.  More importantly, this is a book that promises to be of real help to patients facing agonizing choices, and to doctors struggling to find their place in that process.”
Ruth Faden, PhD, MPH
Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics
Director, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

“Peter Ubel’s writing is riveting. Indeed, I read his proposal and prologue in one go. This book asks some of the most profound questions of our time. Are we equipped, as humans, to make the choice of whether to live or die? What is more important, quality or quantity of life? Is anyone—be it an individual deciding for him- or herself or deciding on behalf of another—equipped to make such decisions? This book will be must reading for serious readers!”
Sheena S. Iyengar
S.T. Lee Professor of Business, Columbia Business School
Author of The Art of Choosing

“Peter Ubel is one of the leading medical ethicists in the world, and the premier scholar bringing insights from the behavioral sciences to bear upon moral issues at the bedside. Combine that with his unusual ability to communicate clearly and engagingly, and he is truly one of a kind. This book examines the central question in clinical medicine—how best to incorporate patient preferences into medical decision-making. It has the potential to become a classic.”
Mark Siegler
Lindy Bergman Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Surgery
Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
University of Chicago

“The doctor’s office is the worst place to make a mistake. As a physician and a social scientist, Peter Ubel is unparalleled in his understanding of some of the most important decisions we are all facing, or will face.”
Dan Ariely, Duke University
Author of Predictably Irrational

“As a fellow internist and ethicist, and someone who has researched the physician-patient relationship, I cannot recommend Peter Ubel’s proposed book enough. He approaches medical decision-making with more expertise and creativity than anyone else in the field. His writing has the added advantage of being accessible to both doctors and patients. Lastly, Peter uses humor and wit extremely effectively to communicate his points.”
Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Columbia University
Contributor, New York Times
Author, When Illness Goes Public

“A powerful mixture: Stories about doctors and patients facing difficult decisions, glimpses into the science of human decision making, combined with reflections on morality and the law. Peter Ubel is an academic star and this is going to be his best book.”
Dan W. Brock, PhD
Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics
Harvard Medical School

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