Dr. Brown is a medical researcher, intensive care unit physician, and historian of religion and culture. His most recent book, Through the Valley of Shadows: Living Wills, Intensive Care, and Making Medicine Human (Oxford University Press, Spring 2016) outlines and advocates fundamental reforms in the way medical treatments are provided to create a truly patient and family centered intensive care unit.


Problems in interpretation of the Surgisphere results even if they weren’t fraudulent

Colleagues on the ORCHID trial committee and I wrote this response to the Surgisphere hydroxychloroquine results. In the event, the papers were discovered to be based on fraudulent data, so Lancet ended up not publishing the response. However, our arguments were relevant even if the results had not been fraudulent. Given the importance of what we term “trajectory bias,” I thought it reasonable to post the paper here for future reference.

CLOVERS Rationale Paper

In this paper, we lay out the rationale for the important clinical trial, CLOVERS, designed to understand which of two commonly used approaches to treating early sepsis with low blood pressure is better than the other.

Speaking Up

In an important collaboration funded by the Moore Foundation and based at BIDMC, we noted a high rate of reluctance for patients and families to speak up in the intensive care unit. A variety of factors seemed to create barriers to such speaking up.

Respect and Dignity in Healthcare

I’m honored to have been part of the group who convened this important consensus-building and consensus-reporting work on the practice of respect in healthcare environments.

Respect and Dignity in the ICU

In this perspective in AJRCCM, we argue for a new approach to understanding respect and dignity and their relevance in the modern intensive care unit.

Partners in Healing experience published

In this research letter in Chest, we report the experience with Intermountain’s Partners in Healing project, by which family members were encouraged to participate in bedside care of cardiothoracic surgery patients. Participation in the program was associated with satisfaction for participants and a lower risk of rehospitalization after an ED visit after discharge.

Humanizing the ICU

In this brief Healthy Dialogues talk, I explore the reasons why dehumanization is so common in the ICU and how we can begin to restore the humanity of patients in the ICU.

Understanding privacy laws in the ICU

In this white paper, the Libretto Consortium Task Force lays out the issues relevant to balancing privacy and the needs of family members during the frightening experience of an ICU admission.

ABC4 Discussion about Valley of Shadows

In this ABC4 interview, I start to lay the groundwork for some of the work we are doing at the Center for Humanizing Critical Care and described in the book.

Ending visitation restrictions improves satisfaction in the ICU

Our work to humanize the ICU continues to bear fruit as work led by Diane Chapman is published in AJCC, the premier journal of critical care nursing. We’re grateful for the attention this study has generated and eager to continue to see improvements in real partnership among clinicians, patients, and families in the ICU.

Banner image is of Mount Mkinwartsveri (Kazbek), with the Church of St. Mary foreground left, image © Samuel Brown 2000