Mama Might Be Better Off Dead


Mama Might Be Better Off Dead is a book written by Laure Kaye Abraham, which was published in October 1993. In his work, Abraham displays sickness and poverty in the society presenting it in such a way that requires the reforms in the medical covers to be implemented to suit the underprivileged people.


Abraham’s writes about poverty and sickness in the community, especially concerning the poorest who live in the urban areas. The writer utilizes the medically challenged Banes family as a springboard for his examinations of the convoluted, puzzling, and now and sometimes outdated social insurance framework that holds the poor urban hostage. Moreover, Abraham makes a fantastic display with regards to clarifying the maze of therapeutic service programs accessible to the urban poor. Keenly, he plainly recognizes human and conditional terms and explains how the same projects have fizzled a populace urgently needing assistance (“2013 Reviewers,” 2014).

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Explaining the procurement of therapeutic service administrations to a black family living on the edge of destitution in urban Chicago, Laurie Kaye Abraham pays attention to the fact that not less than thirty-five million Americans do not have access to any type of health care coverage. The explanation behind the inadequate health services is the United States’s inability to provide its citizens with a fundamental level of social insurance. It is the only industrialized country, except for South Africa, that is unable to fulfil these needs. In addition, the American therapeutic services framework for individuals who cannot bear the cost of insurance or who do not receive protection from their managers is a fixed policy of the state and the governmental programs that are full of the unavoidable administration crevices and irregularities (“Abstracts Guide”, 2009). The instance of the Banes family and Mrs. Jackson, the matron, specifically illustrates the consequences of the framework’s issues.

The present framework does not adequately push the requirement for proper preventive consideration. In fact, each effort must be made to distinguish the health problems and treat them at the most punctual conceivable phase of the disease. Currently, the age-old transferable diseases, for example, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted illnesses, and measles still torment Chicago’s weak patients in unbalanced numbers (Chen, Li, Fung, & Wong, 2015). As a rule, these infections may not be life undermining but rather they can prompt more costly medicine to be prescribed if the situation is not too critical. The cycle should be broken sooner or later unless the framework keeps running in a proficient way that provides the ideal services to poor people (Zahnd, 2009).

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Purpose of the Book

Despite the fact that this book appears to be entirely dated at this point, it is remarkable how all the events may have happened today. This is a powerful work indicating the failures of urban health and is an essential read for anybody inspired by well-being approach. The story, which happens in Chicago, is easy to understand. It is educational and demonstrates the inconveniences the poor encounter dealing with therapeutic services. It also shows that it is not as simple as we may think regarding their assets. Moreover, this book reflects the amount of money spent for all the procedures instead of facing all the problems at much lower costs with protection care.

Furthermore, the individuals who live in destitution frequently have no opportunity to obtain better social insurance, therefore, they use the accessible ways only. It is difficult to say what these people obtain instead of their therapeutic services if one has never been in similar circumstances. Abraham made a magnificent demonstration focusing on the objectives even on occasion when I do not know whether I could have. I would suggest this book to any individual who has questions about the functioning of the medical framework in poor regions.

Primary Audience

This book is so enlightening while displaying the shameful acts those individuals in destitution face every day concerning our social insurance structure. I believe this work is mainly aimed towards medical students as they start their training. In my opinion, if they peruse this book, it will substantially contribute to their growth as professionals as well as assist them in serving those in need and help to be more mindful and thoughtful to individuals’ circumstances (Rich, 2007). In fact, I realize that there are numerous openings and gaps in our therapeutic services framework. However, now we have a superior comprehension of them, which appears to be the initial step. Moreover, this work provides the readers with the necessary actions to be taken coping with the exact situations, stories, and issues. In the result, everybody is concerned about finding the ways  to improve the life of the underprivileged while perusing this book.

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Brief Summary

Abraham’s book recounts the narrative of Jackie Banks and her family as well as describes their endeavors to hold the family’s wellbeing together. Her maturing grandma, who raised her, has quite recently experienced the removal of one leg as a result of uncontrolled diabetes that may have been exceptionally treated. Consequently, the other foot now looks awful. Banks’ dad, who comes for a visit when he needs assistance, suffered a stroke in his 40s since he did not take measures against his hypertension. In addition, Jackie’s better half has a productive kidney infection that may have been moderated in case it was found before. Hence, nowadays, he gets up at dawn a few times each week to go to a dialysis session since home dialysis appears to be unaffordable by the family.

Furthermore, the welfare framework has many hidden agendas. If Jackie’s grandma reported her salary, she would be required to pay more for her medical consideration. If Jackie’s family pay was enough for affording moving to a more comfortable and pleasant area desired by Jackie, a significant part of the money would go to specialist’s bills. If not, they would stay at their usual place. In any case, the issue concerns their treatment by a newly discovered specialist. For example, any individual who has visited a physician faces the situation when after taking and studying a complete medical history, the internist’s attitude towards the patients could change. In fact, professionals neglect obtaining some information about the past as well as neglect to finish the following necessary procedures.

Medical Sociology Issues and Concepts Addressed

This book highlights the threats to human health in America. It shows that the real disappointments in the American therapeutic services framework are evident in five regions: hypertension control, pregnancy and child health, smoking, liquor and medication misuse, and sexually transmitted illnesses (Curtis, 2010). In addition, income plays a crucial role in the support of health. America has additionally experienced unmistakable accomplishments in its therapeutic services framework such as development of doctor’s facility offices, an expanded number of physicians, extension of social insurance scope, and development of innovation. Lamentably, these victories have caused the increase of therapeutic services costs.

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Contribution to the Course

Since I was writing my proposal on urban human services issues, I have fully realized the significance of this book. Laurie Kaye Abraham introduces the most convincing statements for therapeutic services’ change while revealing the barely recognizable differences of the objectives. Personally I can genuinely say that I realize why numerous urban citizens experience the ill effects of the same general health misfortunes as underdeveloped nations (Ho & Lin, 2013). Additionally, this is an academic book which presents the “story” of worsening the health in urban areas and limits the portrayal of the people in the stories. Besides, I discovered Abrahams’ composing style helpful because it is “unbiased”, thus, numerous health policy books seem to have a fundamental motivation.

Contribution to my Learning

I found this book to be an incredible asset for an explanation of human services scope for the low-comers people and families. It examined a lot of the steps that individuals need to experience in this procedure as well as explained how to get to the doctor’s office if it is situated far away without the right assets. In fact, this was a hard book to peruse. Evidently, medicinal service workers ought to read this and discover how something that appears to be difficult to say is actually complicated to implement.

Issues of Topic for Further Discussion

However, some issues were not efficiently discussed in this book and they, therefore, remain a topic for a further discussion in the future. These include delivery of health care services, continuum based health care services, and health care containment of cost. When these elements are well analyzed in conjunction with Abraham’s discussion, then the readers will possess full knowledge of the ways the human health matters should be dealt with.

My Reaction to the Book

The storyline is fascinating despite having crude information which makes one feel that someone has failed somewhere. However, I was much enlightened and now have a wider eyesight regarding the issue of providing health services to poor people. To my mind, it presents the information so clearly and precisely so it is easy to get the concept. Lastly, it was a valuable source of new knowledge provided by Abraham.

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