3 out of 4 stars
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The Million Dollar Code by Ben Dales and B. B. Beaudreaux is a book with a strong message. It's not easy to classify this book in any genre. It could be classified as a biography, a sociological study, and even a thesis against the healthcare system and the insurance companies. I will say that this is a book based on a true story.
At the beginning of the book, Ted is traveling to Belgium without telling his spouse. He wants to relieve his pain in any way possible. Soon after, the reader discovers that Belgium was one of the first countries in the world to legalize physician-assisted euthanasia. Wait a minute, is Ted going to kill himself? Without knowing what really happened there, the book goes back to Ted's childhood.
From an early age, Ted stood out as an athlete in the most diverse sports. Even though he was not born into a wealthy family, he had managed to succeed in life and had a good position in a corporation. His life, however, started to get worse when he was advised to have surgery on his back. After the doctor made sure that the device that was going to be inserted in his back was a sure bet, Ted decided to go on to get rid of the unbearable pain he felt. The "bone-growth stimulator" device, however, failed miserably. More than one year later, he had to do another surgery to fix the initial error. Ted then saw his pain multiply more than 100 times.
After a few chapters, the reader begins to wonder what is the real purpose of Health Insurance in the world today. Where is the "rational self-interest" from the book The Wealth of Nations? During the last Gilded Age, the tycoons used to be incredibly wealthy, but they felt some obligation to the country around them. The "robber barons" of the time built libraries and national parks with their own money.
In the current reality of the United States, doctors, in many cases, do not think about the good of their patients and want profit. Many doctors are "forced" to use untested devices in their patients. The medical electronic device manufacturers only care about money, and when its development people create a product, the corporation will do anything to have its costs reimbursed. The author makes it clear that this filthy system can co-opt even well-intentioned surgeons. Ted had his life ruined in every way imaginable and was unable to sue the culprits. That's how the system works in America. I loved to learn more (my favorite aspect of the book by far) about this reality in the United States.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that the book is professionally edited. There are many examples of words without proper spacing. Example: "We turned on the television in his room to check into whatwasgoingonwiththevotecounts." There are pages with only one word on them as well. I mean, one sentence in three different pages. It's clear that the book desperately needs another round of editing. That's the only negative aspect of this book.
On the whole, The Million Dollar Code deserves three out of four stars. With a heavy heart, I had to take one star away due to editorial issues. It is an exciting and addictive book: a real page-turner. Even though it is a sad story, the message that the book sends is very positive. I'm sure the author will save many lives with this book. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about how the medical industry works in America.
The Million Dollar Code
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