A Doctor’s Dilemma: The Promise Of Stardust

In The Promise of Stardust, a neurosurgeon struggles to confront the reality of his wife's coma while contemplating what can be done about it.

The Promise of Stardust
Courtesy of publisher.

As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Matt Beaulieu had heard the families of his patients play the “if only” game after a tragic accident. Not until his wife, a childhood friend who became the love of his life, falls off a ladder does he face his own if only. But he is soon jolted back to reality. When she is declared brain-dead, his decision about continuing life support is complicated by the discovery that she is pregnant.

In The Promise of Stardust (William Morrow), novelist Priscille Sibley, RN, portrays a husband torn between keeping hope alive and doing what others say his wife would have wanted. Family members turn against him, and his own mother, a labor and delivery nurse, takes him to court to fight for the dignified end his wife declared she wanted in her living will years before—that she wished to be spared extraordinary measures and the slow death of her chronically ill mother.

In the midst of a media frenzy, Beaulieu, with the support of a few key people, must prove that after years of trying to have a baby of their own (involving several miscarriages and even a stillbirth), his wife would have wanted the chance to carry the new baby to term. But there are no guarantees. Her body might not survive months on machines, and neither might the baby.

Sibley’s novel is dramatic and engaging, but also honest and even humorous in parts. It raises timely legal and ethical questions, including the rights of mother, father, spouse and unborn child.

Click here to leave a comment
Read more Books, Jersey Living articles.

By submitting comments you grant permission for all or part of those comments to appear in the print edition of New Jersey Monthly.

Required not shown
Required not shown