How has great progress in the science of medicine over two centuries of research changed the way it is accepted and practiced today? Or has it?
Vienna. Fifty years before the discovery of microbes and 175 years before the present day Covid-19 endemic, it is the "mecca" of medicine in the world. But its famous medical school is also a cauldron of politics and intrigue that resists progress. Based on a fictional account of the true story, with actual characters, a young obstetrician in training confronts the university hospital's vast maternity ward that is teeming with the city's abandoned and destitute women in labor. He is stunned to find that one-third of them will never make it out of the hospital alive, meeting horrific deaths in labor and delivery. But nobody has much cared. It has just been that way for many years. The young doctor defies orders to not meddle in this matter, and makes an unexpected, earth-shaking discovery about the cause of the deaths. As he struggles to find a way to prevent this carnage of women and their babies, his results are discredited by an arrogant, imperious and anti-science medical establishment. The outcast young physician is progressively persecuted until he meets an untimely and mysterious death. Why and how can he be vindicated?
Andrew Schafer was born in Budapest and at the age of nine escaped with his family to the west following the defeat of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Educated in medicine at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Chicago, he became a distinguished hematologist at Harvard Medical School. He was later elected to the presidency of the American Society of Hematology, and also served as chairman of the departments of medicine and chief of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell. Elected to the National Academy of Medicine and to leadership in other prominent medical organizations, he continues to be an active clinical practitioner, researcher, and medical educator at Weill Cornell Medical College and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. An editor and author of major medical textbooks as well as hundreds of original research articles in medicine, this is his first foray into historical fiction. He lives in New York City with his wife, Pauline, and is the proud father of three children and grandfather of six grandchildren.