Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former Medical Director of Bellevue Hospital, discusses his memoir,Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital, which tells the stories of very different patients-from a UN dignitary to a prisoner from Riker's Island, from illegal immigrants and Wall Street tycoons. He also discusses his own cancer diagnosis and facing his own illness and possible death while he struggles to save the lives of others.


Dr. Eric Manheimer

Comments [9]

Taher from Croton on Hudson

guest from NJ,
this person, David from Fredericksburg, VA,
or what ever, is probably a right wing plant. They are often stuck on the NPR shows pretending to be an interested listener.
Yet they have nothing but contempt for the shows. See them all the time on Brian Lehrer.
Great doc, great guest.

Jul. 16 2012 02:10 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I wonder if it would help if people who do have health insurance chose to go to Bellevue so the hospital would get paid for more of the care it provides--or do they have enough outside funding that it wouldn't make that much difference?

I also wonder how much earlier Mr. Guerro might have had his throat cancer diagnosed if he hadn't been in prison.

Finally, to Nick from UWS, I thought of the same thing! It's interesting that even now Bellevue seems to be thought of mainly as a mental hospital, even though so much of what it does is medical, not psychiatric.

Jul. 16 2012 02:03 PM
guest from NJ

Leonard, I hope when you made the remark about mental health patients possibly "getting out and doing something terrible", you were compassionately referring to the danger of self-harm, and not playing into harmful stereotypes that people with mental illness are dangerous. It's hard to tell from your remark what you meant. But it is well- documented that people with mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. Just so we're clear on that.

Jul. 16 2012 01:58 PM
guest from NJ

@David from Fredricksburg:"In my experience, a large number of "can't afford insurance" in fact are just choosing to freeload." What exactly is your experience? Are you a physician? MY experience, both working in healthcare settings and in my own life is that people would love to have insurance, but truly can't afford it--even some who have it can't afford their deductibles and co-pays, so don't get the care they need. Maybe the new car person you imagine had to choose between getting health insurance and getting to work, and the old car was on the brink.

Jul. 16 2012 01:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

What does Dr. Manheimer think it would take to change the fragmentation of health care that he describes?

Jul. 16 2012 01:53 PM
JB from Manhattan


I can't help but recall the movie, "The Doctor," in which a surgeon (played by William Hurt) is diagnosed with throat cancer, and undergoes an enormous attitudinal shift as a result of his experience as a patient (in the hospital in SF where he worked).

Jul. 16 2012 01:42 PM
francis from ny ny

I took my child by choice to the Pediatric center of Bellvue, got amazing care, first rate people. The head doctor asked why we were there and that we did not represent the general people who came in, meaning non-insured minority

Jul. 16 2012 01:36 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Re: People without insurance. Dr. said, lost their insurance, can't afford to buy insurance.

In my experience, a large number of "can't afford insurance" in fact are just choosing to freeload. Maybe they orginally thought they'd just get by without insurance, but when they get injured or sick, they're freeloaders.

I'm speaking of people driving new cars (and not Kias), with designer clothes/sunglasses/shoes/handbags and with their Starbucks lattes. I have to buy my own insurance & it is hard to afford - but I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I was trying to freeload.

Jul. 16 2012 01:35 PM
Nick from UWS

From The Honeymooners:

Alice, trying to seduce an astonished Ralph: "Hi Killer. I call you Killer, because you SLAY me!"

Ralph: "And I'm calling Bellevue, because you're nuts!"

Jul. 16 2012 01:30 PM

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