Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care

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Overview

Still the leading cause of death worldwide, heart disease challenges researchers, clinicians, and patients alike. Each day, thousands of patients and their doctors make decisions about coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery. In Broken Hearts David S. Jones sheds light on the nature and quality of those decisions. He describes the debates over what causes heart attacks and the efforts to understand such unforeseen complications of cardiac surgery as depression, mental fog, and stroke.

Why do doctors and patients overestimate the effectiveness and underestimate the dangers of medical interventions, especially when doing so may lead to the overuse of medical therapies? To answer this question, Jones explores the history of cardiology and cardiac surgery in the United States and probes the ambiguities and inconsistencies in medical decision making. Based on extensive reviews of medical literature and archives, this historical perspective on medical decision making and risk highlights personal, professional, and community outcomes.

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Editorial Reviews

The Chronicle Review
Offers a historical perspective on medical decision making in the case of heart disease.
History Wire - Where the Past Comes Alive - Stephen Goddard
For anyone who has had a heart attack or whose family member has had one, this book is definitely worth reading.
Midwest Book Review
Any health collection strong in cardiac care will find this a winning presentation perfect for general health or specialty collections alike.
Scientists' Bookshelf - Nortin M. Hadler
The light Jones shines on the interventional cardiovascular enterprise illuminates numerous, sometimes fatal and always costly flaws that every patient and society at large ignores at great peril.
Pharos - Jack Coulehan
A surprising and sobering book. David S. Jones combines rigorous research with a clear narrative style to produce a very persuasive historical analysis. I heartily recommend that physicians read Broken Hearts to benefit from a dose of detective work, a dose of insight, and a good dose of humility.
Watermark - Katherine Burger Johnson
Jones does a very good job of outlining how difficult it is to understand all the workings of the human body, what is involved in medical research, and how that research is applied to human subjects through the lens of one medical specialty.
Bulletin of the History of Medicine - Allen B. Weisse
All in all, Jones presents a different and refreshing take on the challenges before us. He provides more questions than answers, but this is all to the good. Unless we pose the proper questions we cannot ever hope to obtain the right answers.
Sociology of Health and Illness - Janet K. Shim
Wide-ranging, full of interesting and telling historical details, steadily paced yet thorough in its making sense of complex medicine, Broken Hearts exposes cardiac care as neither mundane nor settled.
Technology and Culture - Shelley Mckellar
Jones asks us to embrace the complexity of medical decision-making, to recognize medical research gains and gaps, and to acknowledge the social values and priorities that shape our present scenario. Difficult decisions in medicine remain, but perhaps Jones’s book will contribute to more judicious ones.
Choice

For the past half century, patients have been advised to undergo valve replacement, angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass graft procedures to prevent or ameliorate cardiac pathologies. But how good are these procedures? How certain are the surgeons or physicians who recommend them that they will work? How do they know? Giving some answers to these questions and showing how the criteria for making medical decisions change over time are the themes of Broken Hearts.

Health Affairs - Sarah Dine
Jones’s larger point is a meditation on how we understand and misunderstand medical knowledge.
Choice
For the past half century, patients have been advised to undergo valve replacement, angioplasty, or coronary artery bypass graft procedures to prevent or ameliorate cardiac pathologies. But how good are these procedures? How certain are the surgeons or physicians who recommend them that they will work? How do they know? Giving some answers to these questions and showing how the criteria for making medical decisions change over time are the themes of Broken Hearts.
Technology and Culture - Shelley McKellar
This book will appeal to a wide audience interested in the history of coronary artery disease, its treatment options, and medical decision-making. For those wanting more, there is an extensive bibliography. In closing, Jones asks us to embrace the complexity of medical decision-making, to recognize medical research gains and gaps, and to acknowledge the social values and priorities that shape our present scenario. Difficult decisions in medicine remain, but perhaps Jones's book will contribute to more judicious ones.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421408019
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 785,301
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Jones is the A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine at Harvard University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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