Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm since Hippocrates

Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm since Hippocrates

by David Wootton
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199212791

ISBN-13: 9780199212798

Pub. Date: 11/16/2007

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Just how much good has medicine done over the years? And how much damage does it continue to do?

The history of medicine begins with Hippocrates in the fifth century BC. Yet until the invention of antibiotics in the 1930s doctors, in general, did their patients more harm than good.

In this fascinating new look at the history of medicine, David Wootton argues

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Overview

Just how much good has medicine done over the years? And how much damage does it continue to do?

The history of medicine begins with Hippocrates in the fifth century BC. Yet until the invention of antibiotics in the 1930s doctors, in general, did their patients more harm than good.

In this fascinating new look at the history of medicine, David Wootton argues that for more than 2300 years doctors have relied on their patients' misplaced faith in their ability to cure. Over and over again major discoveries which could save lives were met with professional resistance. And this is not just a phenomenon of the distant past. The first patient effectively treated with penicillin was in the 1880s; the second not until the 1940s. There was overwhelming evidence that smoking caused lung cancer in the 1950s; but it took thirty years for doctors to accept the claim that smoking was addictive. As Wootton graphically illustrates, throughout history and right up to the present, bad medical practice has often been deeply entrenched and stubbornly resistant to evidence.

This is a bold and challenging book—and the first general history of medicine to acknowledge the frequency with which doctors do harm.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199212798
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/16/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
846,229
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Introduction : bad medicine/better medicine1
IThe Hippocratic tradition27
1Hippocrates and Galen29
2Ancient anatomy42
3The canon49
4The senses53
Conclusion to part I : the placebo effect67
IIRevolution postponed71
5Vesalius and dissection73
6Harvey and vivisection94
7The invisible world110
Conclusion to part II : trust not the physician139
IIIModern medicine151
8Counting153
9Birth of the clinic177
10The laboratory185
11John Snow and cholera195
12Puerperal fever211
13Joseph Lister and antiseptic surgery224
14Alexander Fleming and penicillin242
Conclusion to part III : progress delayed250
IVAfter contagion257
15Doll, Bradford Hill, and lung cancer259
16Death deferred269

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