A grand tour of medical science's heroes, failures, and spectacular sucesses and a realistic look at what it can do in terms of the chronic diseases of our times.
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Deft questioning of our basic assumptions about health, disease, and medicine. Golub, director of the Pacific Center for Ethics and Applied Biology, asserts that throughout most of human history little changed in the way health and sickness were regarded. From 500 bc to about ad 1850, people believed that health depended on the body's being in balance--and the general level of health was pretty dreadful, with sickness and early death being omnipresent. In the 19th century, however, science began to reframe thinking about health and disease. Indeed, Golub claims that the major contributions science has made to our lives are in changing our view of ourselves, how medicine is practiced, and what we expect from medicine. Through myth-shattering stories about standard heroes and praise for some lesser-known figures, Golub recounts how the authority of science was brought to medicine by Pasteur, Lister, and others whose work contributed to the soaring popular faith in scientific medicine. Once diseases were seen as having specific causes, the course was clear: determine the cause and then develop a vaccine to prevent the disease or a chemical to cure it. This concept of specificity still prevails, according to Golub. But it does not serve us well in an era of complex chronic diseases and the degenerative conditions of old age. Golub cautions against reliance on costly high-tech solutions, especially gene therapy, warning that the complexity of biology calls for more innovative and integrative approaches. Finally, he urges serious rethinking of what we want from medicine and argues that we should view aging and dying as an integral part of life rather than as the Great Enemy of medicine. Highly enjoyable as a brief and opinionated history of medicine, but more valuable as a provocative essay on the direction in which science and technology are moving medicine today. (15 line drawings, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Golub's thesis is that medicine is dependent upon the prevailing worldview. Showing the nonhistorian how culture has affected Western medicine, Golub begins by examining the way death and disease were viewed through the 17th century. He then describes the new "scientific" worldview of the Enlightenment and shows how developments such as vaccinations and the germ theory appeared as scientists changed the way they viewed the human body and the world. After this short history of some of the "greats" of medicine and public health, Golub ends his book by arguing that the new genetic-based view of the world and our advanced medical technology are forcing us to reevaluate our current view of medicine. Golub, a scientist and the author of medical textbooks, has here written a nonacademic book that is easily accessible to the general reader. Recommended for all public, high school, and general academic collections.
Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Buchbeschreibung Times Books, 1994. Hardback in Dust Wrapper. | Dust Wrapper over Black Spine Strip with Cream boards with Orange titling to the Spine. 9½" x 6¼". [XII] 258pp. Index. Bibliography. | 2nd impression. [First Edition: 1994] For more photos or information, use the «Ask Bookseller» button and I'll be pleased to help. The book is in stock and ships from the rustic nirvana of Peasedown St. John, near Bath, England from a long-established bookseller - guaranteed by my reputation and the UK Distance Selling Act. Remember! BUYING THIS BOOK means my Jack Russells get their supper! Condition :: Very Good - in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Artikel-Nr. 174762