Lachlan was sixteen when he found his father dead on the side of a dirt road in North Queensland, Australia. He had suffered a heart attack and died alone, without warning, in the middle of nowhere. This tragedy motivated Lachlan to train as a doctor and specialise in providing medical care for people living in remote, resource-deprived locations.
Lachlan’s work has since taken him to over thirty countries, from the islands of the Pacific that are sinking as a result of climate change to civil war zones in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this no-holds-barred memoir, Lachlan recounts his experiences of caring for his patients and tackling health problems in some of the world’s most extreme environments. We see him delivering babies in makeshift operating theatres by the light of a head torch; treating patients ravaged by tropical diseases; and helping care for patients with infected wounds, from bullets and bomb blasts, that are resistant to all known antibiotics. We follow Lachlan as he is evacuated with his Medecins Sans Frontieres colleagues to a safe house in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it is revealed that members of their team have been kidnapped by the local militia. Lachlan’s experiences also give us an invaluable insight into the devastating effects of climate change on impoverished communities. Tackling such impossible problems day in and day out takes a personal toll. Along the way, Lachlan faces his own personal battles with depression, alcohol abuse and bankruptcy. Life and Death Decisions is a deeply human look at the personal cost of our broken global health system and a vital call to action.