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Follies and Fallacies in Medicine Hardcover – September 1, 1990

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this succinct, balanced critical appraisal of contemporary medical theory and practice, Dublin-based oncologist Skrabanek and McCormick, president of the Irish College of General Practitioners, expose both the medical establishment's rigid dogmas and the premises of alternative healing's adherence to largely unproven preventive measures and panaceas. Neither school of thought, the authors claim, takes seriously enough nature's healing powers or the important role played in disease prevention by living conditions and behavior. They also challenge the value of what they consider the ethically questionable, even harmful effects of screening tests such as mammography--which, they claim, are often responsible for flawed diagnoses. A concluding chapter draws distinctions between medicine's moral commitment and the essential amorality of science.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Skrabanek, a Dublin endocrine oncologist, and McCormick, president of the Irish College of General Practitioners, have written "an ordinary person's guide to the limitations of medicine." Examples of medical follies and fallacies included derive from their teaching of "critical appraisal" to students, in which they advocate the need to examine the nature of error within the medical sciences. Erroneous reasoning, fallacious arguments, misconceptions, and faulty logic are explored concerning: placebos, logic and statistics, diagnosis and labeling, preventative medicine, alternative medicine, and aspects of the sociology and morality of medical practice. This is a witty and informative guide that will assist both lay and professional readers to better interpret medical data, practice, and procedures. Recommended.
- James Swanton, Albert Ein stein Coll. of Medicine Lib., New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (September 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879756306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879756307
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,846,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This delightful short monograph artfully skewers typical medical thinking with numerous examples of misdirected logic, hapless grandiosity, and short-sightedenss. Most of the examples are historical and real. They range from intransigence to accepting scientifically proven facts to embracing fads and charlatanism.

This book is a must for any serious medical scientist and would be of great use to journalists covering the medical profession. Medical students would also benefit from the authors' wry and insightful perspectives.
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Format: Hardcover
...What a convenient means of avoiding having to actually engage with Skrabanek's arguments. Would you say that most health promoters have a vested interest in establishing links between disease and all sorts of factors, since their jobs depended on it? Most medical researchers accept money from drug companies; indeed, many of the most vocal proponents of organic farming and opponents of genetically modified foods are themselves organic farmers, with an obvious vested economic interest in promoting it.
But none of that means you can airily dismiss their arguments out of hand. I would urge medical students, doctors, nurses, and the general public, to read this book: make up your own mind.
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Format: Hardcover
The New Scientist (16 May 98 p5) points out that the fist author of this book is one of many 'consultant' projects funded by the tobacco industry to help spread confusion on the relationship between tobacco and health. Peter Skrabanek is reported to have written a number of reports for the tobacco industry. Caveat emptor. It may be a good read, but it is a subtle part of tobacco industy propaganda.
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