Hippocrates Wept

Mystery & Thrillers

By William F. Quigley M.D.

Publisher : Grave Distractions Publications

ABOUT William F. Quigley M.D.

William F. Quigley M.D.
Raised in New York City, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C., William F. Quigley, M.D. benefited from a Jesuit education in high school and in college, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship. Needing doctors as well as artillery officers, the U.S. Army granted him then a four year d More...


Hippocrates Wept takes place in an alternate but not unimaginable post-September 11th world. Wall Street has crashed and HMOs have gone bankrupt. Congress and the President enact a universal healthcare system managed by the federal government. Under the National Health Security Act, hospitals and clinics become the property of the bureaucracy. Medical professionals, now salaried employees of the government, labor under strict diagnostic and treatment regulations set forth by Washington, and citizens are assigned specific physicians. Doctors breaching those mandated doctor-patient lists can be charged with a felony punishable by fines and up to five years in prison. A vocal opponent of the government’s draconian healthcare policies, Dr. Ted O’Hara performs an emergency surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm on Joe Hanway, a friend who had saved his life in the Vietnam War. Hanway is not on Ted’s assigned list of patients. Aiming to quell swelling defiance of Washington’s edicts by doctors across the land, the Attorney General seeks to make an example of Dr. O’Hara, charging him with the “crime” of treating a patient without authorization. Thus begins a gripping drama. With the action shifting from the operating room to the court room, Dr. O’Hara seeks to clear his name and challenge the system that would brand doctors as criminals. The case leads to remarkable twists and turns in the lives of Dr. O’Hara and his attorney, whose defense strategy hinges intriguingly on a pre-Civil War case of conscientious objection to the federal Fugitive Slave Law. Legal risks are the least of their worries, however, as the trial sparks a politically charged battle over government regulation of free enterprise – a battle that threatens lives. In the vein of Robin Cook and John Grisham thrillers, the late William F. Quigley, M.D. has crafted a provocative cautionary tale rooted in real world leanings toward socialized medicine in America. With the juggernaut of Obamacare not fully realized, Hippocrates Wept dramatizes the slippery slope of government involvement in our healthcare system and reminds us that the people—even one person—can make a difference.

William F. Quigley, M.D. died in 2014 at the age of 83. Three days before he died, he happily signed a contract with Grave Distractions to publish the novel he had written in retirement from his profession as a surgeon. He knew his death was close; he hoped his novel might help to save the independence if not also the world-class expertise of the medical profession in America. This novel is the farewell address of a masterful surgeon and a hopeful romantic.