Titles from academic presses view healthcare and the pandemic through a scholarly lens.

Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People

Stephen G. Post. Johns Hopkins Univ., May 2022

Post, director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, focuses on communication and respect in this guide for caregivers of patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. “Deeply forgetful people express emotion and respond to kindness,” he writes. “They respond to their environment with pleasure or fear; most carry on conversations of a sort; and they can be treated in a manner that diminishes the moments of terror that must accompany their sense of self-fragmentation.”

The Infodemic

Joel Simon and Rob Mahoney. Columbia Global Reports, Apr. 2022

The executive director and deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists investigate how pandemic-era censorship “obscures understanding of the disease and its origins, undermines public health, and opens the door to a broader assault on rights and liberties.” They explain how the use of modern censorship techniques—confusion and manipulation as well as the restriction of information—helped the Trump White House and governments in authoritarian nations downplay and politicize the virus.

Just Health

Dayna Bowen Matthew. NYU, Feb. 2022

Matthew, dean and Harold H. Greene professor of law at the George Washington University Law School, begins her book on the health effects of structural racism on a personal note: her father died in his 40s and her mother in her 60s. “The facts of my family’s story defy the myth that millions of other Black Americans share this all-too-familiar position because of a family breakdown or failure of personal responsibility,” she writes. A chapter dedicated to solutions “outlines the most basic legal and policy reforms the nation needs if it is to dismantle the mechanisms supporting structural racism that prematurely ended my parents’ lives.”

Pandemic Medicine

Kathryn C. Ibata-Arens. Rienner, out now

DePaul University professor Ibata-Arens, whose fields of study include science and technology policy, explains how “prior to the rise of patent-centric intellectual property rights, novel discoveries had been shared in what can be called an innovation commons.” The current global innovation system, she writes, leaves us vulnerable and ill-prepared for pandemics and other diseases that have risen to “epidemic levels,” such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

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