It’s Nothing Personal by Kate O’Reilley

It’s Nothing Personal by Kate O’Reilley: Jenna Reiner is an anesthesiologist whose life is turned upside-down when one of her patients contracts Hepatitis C from a contaminated syringe, switched out by an infected scrub nurse stealing drugs. One of the victims decides go sue not only the scrub nurse, but the hospital and Jenna herself; this is mainly the story of her experience being sued. I found the legal portions of the story interesting, but Jenna herself was a little bit tiresome, what with everybody always talking about what a saint she is, and how different she is from those awful other doctors. The ending was at once disappointing and realistic. All the same, it was a change from the usual, since here we have a medical malpractice suit from the doctor’s point of view, with the reminder that everyone involved is a well-meaning human being (except maybe the lawyers).

A bit of background I knew going into this: the author of this book went through a very similar situation. I don’t know that all the characters acted quite as she portrayed them, but it was an informative survey of the process and, I imagine, a fairly cleansing act for the author herself. I haven’t decided if I’m glad I knew that this story was semiautobiographical beforehand or if it would have been better to find out afterward, but it certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. It just added a few extra “I wonder if this is really how it happened” questions from time to time. Certainly a different kind of medical drama.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

  1. I wonder if she’s from New Hampshire. There was a drawn-out Hep C infection problem up here for exactly the reason in the book (though I don’t know if it was a scrub nurse). Heard about it on the radio for some time.

  2. You can read NHPR’s coverage here: http://nhpr.org/term/hepatitis-c
    There may be some extraneous things in there too.

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