Magic or Medicine?: An Investigation of Healing and Healers / Edition 1

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Overview

Modern medicine is one of the most successful branches of science, with a distinguished history of conquering many of the twentieth century's deadliest diseases. Yet today people are turning in record numbers to alternative therapies that have little or no scientific basis. What accounts for this flight from reason in the face of hard evidence that medical doctors do a better job of treating disease and alleviating suffering than their alternative counterparts?
In Magic or Medicine? Dr. Robert Buckman and Karl Sabbagh offer a response to this question by critically evaluating both alternative and conventional medical approaches to patient care. The authors argue that healing has always been partly the science of clinical treatment (medicine) and partly an art (magic). Medicine may make the patient get well, but often it is magic that makes the patient feel well.
With all the pressures under which they work, modern medical doctors often neglect the magic in their dealings with patients. Alternative therapists, however, frequently offer nothing but magic. Buckman and Sabbagh look closely at the claims made for both medical science and alternative treatments and discover a gap between the promises and the reality of each approach.
Magic or Medicine? is vital reading for anyone conerned about the effective delivery of healthcare.

Examines both alternative & conventional approaches to medical care/considers herbalists, homeopaths, chiropractors

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The authors evaluate alternative and allopathic approaches to patient care, examining the nature of the relationship between patients and practitioners. Drawing on early medical sources and on their own investigations into alternative therapies, they argue that healing has always been part science and part art, and suggest that magic and medicine are essential components of every healer-patient contact. Originally published in 1993 by Key Porter Books, Toronto, Ontario. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879759483
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 261
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Buckman, Ph.D., FRCP, is a cancer specialist and assistant professor at the Toronto Bayview Regional Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, University of Toronto. He is also the current president of the Humanist Association of Canada. Among his previous books are How to Break Bad News and I Don't Know What to Say: How to Help and Support Someone Who Is Dying.
Karl Sabbagh, M.A., is a television producer whose credits include The Body in Question with Dr. Jonathan Miller. He is also the author of numerous books on scientific and medical topics, including The Living Body: A Guide to How the Body Works.
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Table of Contents

Authors' Note
Acknowledgements
1 Healing and Healers 1
2 The Origins of Healing 9
3 Encounters of a Healing Kind 28
4 A Taxonomy of Healing 48
5 Philosophical Attractions 73
6 Practical Plusses and Minuses 100
7 Alternative Explanations of the Inexplicable 119
8 Getting Better or Feeling Better 153
9 Synthesis: Magic and Medicine 213
Notes 249
Index 257
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