A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine
By Victoria Sweet
(Riverhead Books, Hardcover, 9781594488436, 372pp.)
Publication Date: April 26, 2012
List Price: $27.95*
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Laguna Honda, lower tech but human paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. "God's Hotel" tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility," revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for body and soul.