Jeremy Cramer, M.D. is the next Einstein of infectious disease research. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes a breakthrough discovery in AIDS research that thrusts him into the center of a media frenzy.
But the publicity turns negative and his marriage reaches the breaking point when he accidentally infects a colleague and his negligence allows his son to contract a life-threatening disease. The viruses test the limits of his new formula and his ethics.
In his frantic efforts to save his son and his marriage, he must decide whether to allow his child to die or violate the rights of a young transplant donor. The choice forces him to stand face-to-face with the unfathomable love required to sacrifice an only son.
Sandra Glahn, ThM, teaches in the media arts program at Dallas Theological Seminary, where she edits the award-winning magazine Kindred Spirit. The author of six books and co-author of seven others, she is pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies (Arts and Humanities) at the University of Texas at Dallas . She recently released her first solo medical suspense novel, Informed Consent (Cook). She is the co-author of three other such novels, which include the Christy Award finalist, Lethal Harvest.
What’s Informed Consent about?
Jeremy Cramer, the next Einstein of research, is a medical resident specializing in infectious diseases. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes surprising discoveries, while also living with massive guilt over incidental infections that occur (which he could have prevented). Even as his marriage teeters, his career continues to skyrocket. Then, with a few twists along the way, he finds everything he has fought for threatened by the most personal, most heart-wrenching, choices of all.
I love exploring bioethics, and this book allowed me to consider end-of-life issues, patient rights, a compassionate response to HIV-AIDS…lots of edutainment.
How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?
The story had a thousand or more “what if” moments. I’m pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies, and I worked on the setting, characters, a lot of the plot, as well as my narrative voice during three novel-writing classes taught by a novelist who writes fiction reviews for Publishers Weekly. And I got some great feedback from fellow students who don’t believe in Christ about ways to address faith issues more naturally. I also took a Dante class, which influenced my choice to give my characters five of the seven deadly sins. (I’m saving the other two for a future work.)
But the elements in the plot designed to keep readers up at night came through a brainstorming session with medical doctor, William Cutrer, with whom I’ve coauthored three medical novels.
What made you decide to write a book that deals with AIDS?
The church in Africa is doing a fantastic job dealing with HIV-AIDS. The North American church—not so much. So I wanted to tackle some of our misconceptions, challenge some of our stereotypes, and hopefully help readers consider their own involvement with AIDS patients.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
Dr. Nate Barlow. He’s imperfect, but he cares so much for his patients. And he’s a good friend. He has every reason to be arrogant, but he’s oblivious to his own greatness.