Review: “All You Need To Know About Disability Is On STAR TREK” by Ilana S. Lehmann, Ph.D.

All You Need To Know About Disability Is On STAR TREK by Ilana S. LehmannA review by Domoni.

First, I would like to thank the author Ilana S. Lehmann for allowing me to read her book and provide an honest review.

Though the book has a humorous title, it tackles some serious issues and ideas about disability and people’s understanding of it. The author informs us that her aim was to write a book for Star Trek fans living with disabilities, whether it is their own or a family member’s. She warns that people uninterested in Star Trek may not have as much enjoyment in this book. Using scenes and dialog from the Star Trek universe, which included all series and original movies, the author makes comparisons and explains aspects of disabilities and other medical factors and places them in easier to understand scenarios.

I was attracted to this book because of the title. I will honestly admit I was expecting it to be a campy and geeky, yet heartwarming book about people with disabilities. I was surprised when I started reading it that it is a much more serious work. This review was hard for me to put into words as it is not a typical book. After pondering and rereading the entire thing I would more accurately label it a text book. In fact it covers almost the entire scope of issues covered in my medical ethics text book. With the humor and finesse of Kirk, Spock and all of the Star Trek universes companions, some difficult topics were covered with ease.

The first portion of the book covered ethics in the medical profession and if you don’t already understand beneficence and nonmaleficence then I suggest having Google somewhat handy for parts of this book. Moral quandaries are discussed through the use of similar scenes addressed on episodes of Star Trek. Comparisons are made between fiction and history and applied to real life possible situations.

Moving through the book we read about mental health issues, physical disabilities, addiction and developmental delays. All topics are handled rather beautifully with a perfect character or situation. From comparing autistic tendencies to Data or Seven Of Nine’s struggle to understand the crew members they live with, to the lengths Janeway will go to to recharge the ships energy reserves just to be able to power the replicators so she can have her cup of coffee. All topics were beautifully managed with just the right dialogue.

I would not recommend this book to someone based simply on their love of Star Trek, but if you have someone in the medical field with a geeky side, this book would be a great read.


My rating: 4 /5 stars.

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