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Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis, the Expropriation of Health Paperback – July 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ivan Illich is the author of Celebration of Awareness, Tools for Conviviality, The Right to Useful Unemployment, Energy and Equity, Limits to Medicine, Shadow Work, Gender, H2O and the Waters of Forgetfulness, ABC: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind, Disabling Professions, Deschooling Society and In the Mirror of the Past: Lectures and Addresses 1978-1990.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd; Reprint edition (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714529931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714529936
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael J. Jacka on July 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Ilyich wrote this a generation-plus ago, yet his messages resonate today. We have depersonalized our lives in so many ways, by bringing the industrial model into realms that were meant for emotion, feeling, and art. The influx of industry-thought into medicine has torn the sensitive heart from many care-givers and patients alike. His text is a bit lengthy and is repetitive in spots, and can be challenged on the facts in others. Overall, his concerns about the choices we have made socially and medically remain valid.
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This highly referenced text, orginially written in the late 70's, outlines a well presented documentation of why medicine has not positively impacted modern life. Illich argues that iatrogenic illness is far more common than we realize. It's a must read for anyone intersted in the evolution of our views on "disease" and what constitutes health!
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First the bad: I believe that the first edition of this book was written in 1974 and it was revised in 1995. Which makes it old and older news. The book was not rewritten; long sections of notes were added to the bottoms of each page. In some cases; there are more notes than the original draft. This makes it hard to really enjoy the book having to stop and go while you read. An alternative would be to read the original then read all of the notes.

Now the good: This book is probably the first to mention the unspeakable - physician caused illness and death. Doctors kill or injure people by misdiagnosis and by prescribing the wrong medications. This was in 1995; how many drug recalls have we had since then?

To hear news about medical issues that are unbiased by big pharma; I recommend subscribing to Mercola This book does not really go into vaccine damage; probably because it was published about the same time parents were organizing against the DPT vaccination. To learn more about vaccination damage and death; I recommend checking out NVIC.

The book is unique in describing the exalted positions we give to doctors and subordinate our responsibility to them over every phase of life. I have never read this anywhere else. Stand on your own feet people. Take charge of your own health. You are just a number to most of these people and they really don't care about any pain or suffering you might experience.

It is better for the medical establishment for you to be sick. It is better for all concerned if you spend any money you might accumulate on prescription drugs. Do you think that the Cancer Foundation actually wants to find a cure? There are a lot of people making a lot of money in these organizations.

This book does not really go after the big fish; it seems to concentrate more on private practice. The book is lacking in some areas; however, still worth reading. SDSerf
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Illich is a perceptive man who clearly understands the systemic impact because the medical emperor is not wearing clothes. We all stand in the same awe of "Modern Medicine" as the court collectively appreciated the emperor's new clothes. Illich's thinking is as sharp and precise as a scalpel. When you go to see the doctor, ignore that man behind the curtain.
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A genius in systematic analysis of the medical field. Health as an out of control self-perpetuating industrial monster. He was the first to point out the early excess in hysterectomies for the only purpose, the enrichment of doctors at the expense of woman
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I had difficulty reading this book, It was written in the 70s and so much has happen in medicine with Obama Care and it has just spiraled further out of control. Ivan is perfectly correct and I really enjoyed his Deschooling Society, but the arguments he uses for the take over of medicine are accurate but almost too late. The monster has gotten so much worst the language needs to be stronger and more direct and to the point.
This is an important man and what he writes is valuable it is just he overwhelmed me with elaborate statements that need a lot of time to understand. His arguments are good but need to be more direct.
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Even though this book was written in 1975 it contains all the main issues related to the way the health industrie is structured and why at times creats more illness than what it is able to cure. It is one of the best critics I have read on the health industrie. Highly recommended.
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