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The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine
     

The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine

by James Le Fanu
 

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ISBN-10: 0786709677

ISBN-13: 9780786709670

Pub. Date: 02/25/2002

Publisher: Basic Books

In the years following World War II, medicine won major battles against smallpox, diphtheria, and polio. In the same period it also produced treatments to control the progress of Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia. It made realities of open-heart surgery, organ transplants, test-tube babies. Unquestionably, the medical accomplishments of the

Overview

In the years following World War II, medicine won major battles against smallpox, diphtheria, and polio. In the same period it also produced treatments to control the progress of Parkinson's, rheumatoid arthritis, and schizophrenia. It made realities of open-heart surgery, organ transplants, test-tube babies. Unquestionably, the medical accomplishments of the postwar years stand at the forefront of human endeavor, yet progress in recent decades has slowed nearly to a halt. In this winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, medical doctor and columnist James Le Fanu both surveys the glories of medicine in the postwar years and analyzes the factors that for the past twenty-five years have increasingly widened the gulf between achievement and advancement: the social theories of medicine, ethical issues, and political debates over health care that have hobbled the development of vaccines and discovery of new "miracle" cures. While fully demonstrating the extraordinary progress effected by medical research in the latter half of the twentieth century, Le Fanu also identifies the perils that confront medicine in the twenty-first. 16 pages of black-and-white photographs add to what the Los Angeles Times cited as "a sobering, contrarian challenge" to the "nostrum of medicine as a never-ending font of ‘miracle cures'." "[From] a respected science writer ... important information that ... has been overlooked or ignored by many physicians." —New Republic "Provocative and engrossing and informative." —Houston Chronicle "Marvelously written, meticulously researched ... one of the most thought-provoking and important works to appear in recent years." —Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786709670
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
02/25/2002
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.08(h) x 1.18(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction

A Lengthy Prologue: Ten Definitive Moments
  1     1941: Penicillan
  2     1949: Cortisone
  3     1950: Streptomycin, Smoking and Sir Austin Bradford Hill
  4     1952: Chlorpromazine and the Revolution in Psychiatry
  5     1955: Open-Heart Surgery- The Last Frontier
  6     1963: Transplanting Kidneys
  7     1964: The Triumph of Prevention-The Case of Strokes
  8     1971: Curing Childhood Cancer
  9     1978: The First 'Test-Tube' Baby
10     1984: Helicobacter-The Cause of Peptic Ulcer

Part 1:   The Rise
 
1     Medicine's Big Bang
   2     Clinical Science-A New Ideology for Medicine
   3     A Cornucopia of New Drugs
   4     Technology's Triumphs
   5     The Mysteries of Biology

Part 2:   The End of the Age of Optimism
 
1     The Revolution Falters
   2     The Death of New Drugs
   3     Technology's Failings
   4     The Clinical Scientist as an Endangered Species

Part 3:   The Fall
  
1     The Brave New World of the New Genetics
              (i) The Beginning
             (ii) Genetic Engineering
            (iii) The New Eugenics
            (iv) Gene Therapy
            (v) The End
    2     Seduced by the Social Theory
              (i) The Beginning
             (ii) The Rise and Fall of Heart Disease
            (iii) Beyond Tobacco: Sir Richard Doll and the 'Causes' of Cancer
            (iv) Environmental Alarums
             (v) The End
     3     The Unsolved Problem-The Mysteries of Biology Revisited

Part 4:   The Rise and Fall-Causes and Consequences
   
1      Learning from the Past
     2      Looking to the Future

References
Index

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