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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This is a highly intriguing examination of the interplay between law and medicine. Written from the perspective of a cultural anthropologist, this book examines our culture, scientific facts, ideology, and myths.
Purpose: The purpose is to challenge many of the traditional presuppositions about the power and validity of scientific evidence, with an emphasis on biomedical evidence. The book discusses the relationship, both positive and negative, between law and medicine. The objectives are met, and the book has a place in medical legal issues.
Audience: The unique nature of this book makes it an optimal choice for a majority of disciplines such as psychology, psychiatry, law, forensic psychiatry and psychology, public health, sociology, and medical anthropology, just to name a few. The book's wide range of disciplines will make it an excellence choice for medical, law, and graduate school. The authors are highly credible members of their respective fields.
Features: This is quite a delicious book in which the reader is given a highly intellectual exploration of such topics as commitment, definitions of mental abnormality, medicine as an art, as a science, brain imaging, DNA, and the O.J. Simpson case. In fact, the discussion of the O.J. Simpson case was a surprisingly unbiased and informative discussion and a clear highlight of the book. The only shortcoming is, unfortunately, the price of the book; however, it is worth it.
Assessment: Although there a number of books covering the intersection of law and medicine, this book examines the topic from an anthropological approach which is both unique and intellectually stimulating.