Coma Summary
Robin Cook

Everything you need to understand or teach Coma by Robin Cook.

  • Coma Summary & Study Guide

Coma Summary

If Coma has a theme, it is that doctors are apt to be mad scientists who must be controlled by society before they destroy it. In the book's afterword, Cook bemoans "the failure of society in general and medicine in particular to anticipate the social, legal, and ethical ramifications of a technological innovation. For some inexplicable reason, society waits to the very end before creating appropriate policy to pick up the pieces and make sense out of chaos."

Coma's ghoulish plot stems from the motives of Dr. Howard Stark, who enters the business of selling used human organs in order to finance an expansion of his hospital's research facilities. Stark is the persona of the mad scientist who recurs over and over in Robin Cook novels. The mad scientist's inverted sense of priorities makes medical science an end in itself; Stark offers up human lives in order to...

(read more from the Short Guide)