Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case Paperback – November 17, 1997


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.36
$4.00 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and the Law in the Breast Implant Case + A Civil Action
Price for both: $25.70

Buy the selected items together
  • A Civil Action $11.34

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393316726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393316728
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,660,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Introduced in 1962, silicone breast implants had been used by between one and two million women by the time they were virtually banned in 1992 by David A. Kessler of the Food and Drug Administration. While the ban came about because manufacturers had failed to demonstrate the safety of the devices, Marcia Angell, executive editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, argues that there actually was no medical consensus to support the contention that implants could cause widespread illness. Science on Trial examines the silicone debate and argues for the reliance on scientific evidence "to curb the greed, fear and self-indulgence" of such disputes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Angell, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, explores here a preposterous situation: an industrial giant, Dow Corning, forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy by numerous lawsuits filed on behalf of recipients of Dow's silicone breast implants?despite the fact that medical evidence to date shows no link between implants and autoimmune disorders, cancer or any other disease. In a style that ranges from gently didactic to plodding, Angell describes the events leading up to the FDA's ban on implants, the torrent of lawsuits that followed and the implications of the verdicts?overwhelmingly favorable to the plaintiffs and often carrying cash awards in the millions of dollars?for science and industry. Manufacturers have threatened to stop producing heart valves, shunts and other vital medical devices because of the threat of liability; further, suppliers of raw materials for these devices often refuse to sell to American companies for fear of ending up in an American courtroom. The author gives a clear explanation of the way science calculates risk (by considering populations, not individuals) and ably contrasts this with our judicial system, where the focus is on the individual seeking restitution. Angell is an effective champion of the scientific method and does a good job of exposing the chaos caused by a runaway tort system, but she offers no resolution to the state of affairs she describes.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
Marcia Angell's Science on Trial: The Clash of Medical Evidence and The Law in the Breast Implant Case demonstrates what can happen when members of the bar -- and some highly paid experts -- have too much imagination. We have all read that the FDA banned silicone breast implants from the market and of the many large verdicts for women who had such implants. Angell looks at the science and policy beyond both these actions. As to the FDA's decision, she notes that the law requires the manufacturer of a medical device prove the device to be safe; the manufacturers, she concludes, had not taken this rule seriously, and suffered the consequences when the political winds changed direction at the FDA. As to the jury verdicts, she takes issue with the court adversary system itself, where each side hires experts (who often make a very good living at it) and lawyers with the stated objective of proving their side, not finding the "truth." She finds this particularly problematic in the breast implant context because no peer-reviewed epidemiological study finds any correlation between the implants and the conditions alleged. However, because juries are not scientists, and because courts are often ill-equipped to decide what is "good" science, "junk" science gets into evidence, and (to her) unsupportable verdicts occur. I find many of her points well taken, but I do not believe the system needs the extensive overhaul she recommends. What is needed (and what is happening in many courts) is closer control by judges in admitting expert proof to ensure that it has some valid, scientific basis. This is a thought-provoking and important book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. BULL on February 2, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Please note that the more or less average "average ratings" come from reviewers who either rate this one star or four to five stars. In my opinion this illustrates the main point of the book, i.e. that people either evaluate things based on medical evidence, on the opinion of experts, or on their personal belief based on personal life experience/expectations. The different ways of evaluation produce conflicting perceptions, conflicting world views which we see played out many aspect of life. I think that Dr. Angell is gutsy to even take on an issue which generates tremendous controversy. I believe that she presents the arguments for medical evidence very well. Chapter 5 is the best brief and understandable description of what medical evidence is (and is not) that I have ever read. I recommend the book on that alone. I hope that some day Dr. Angell will update the book to include more recent research.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1996
Format: Hardcover
For anyone interested in the interaction between science and
society, Marcia Angell presents an excellent case study of
what's wrong. Using her impressive credentials, she
critically reviews the silicone breast implant case and
examines the roles of greed, ideology, junk science,
sensationalism and ignorance in this controversy.
Specifically, she highlights two issues: the flaws in the
legal system in evaluating science, and the rejection of
sound scientific consensus. You come away with a strong
sense of how people misunderstand science and of how values
and politics influence science.

For anybody worried about the future of science and society,
this is an important book. It reinforces the perception of
the decline of science in the public perception.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is short but wholesome book about evidence, as seen by scientists vs. lawyers. The case in question is silicone breast implants. Angell describes both scientific studies on silicone health effects, and the courtroom battles. This is also a primer in epidemiology, and of media hysteria surrounding science/technology dangers. For an European reader, this is also a horror story about the American legal system (a really good one).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "gelcyn" on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book back in 1996 before the issue of implant safety was settled. I recall the impression it made on me with regard to the widespread ignorance that surrounds us, not only on specific scientific principles but also on the whole idea of the scientific method. This book illustrates why hypotheses and theories can never be evaluated by a court of law. It also illustrates why in any critical review of data one must have a control. If the incidence of a disorder is the same in a group getting implants as it is in a group that does not get implants then it is impossible to reasonably argue that there is any connection between implants and the disorder. Silicone is one of the most inert materials around and people are exposed to it all the time. I strongly recommend this book for anyone looking for further proof that our schools do not teach science adequately.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?