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Authors of Our Own Misfortune?: The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses Paperback – 18 Aug 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: The Village Digital Press (18 Aug. 2012)
  • ASIN: 0857181017
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,585,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Angela Kennedy is a social sciences lecturer and researcher at a number of universities in London, and author of numerous articles, papers and books in lay, professional and academic media over a 30 year career. Her academic research interests include: the social stratification, scapegoating and social exclusion of disadvantaged groups, and the effects of these; constructions of moral panics; and the sociology of science and medicine, including manifestations of the 'science wars'.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lilypink on 8 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book which should unquestionably be required reading by today's medical students. 'Less mind and more body' might produce a more balanced and well rounded medic than we sadly have to presently endure.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Justin Reilly, esq. on 30 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Especially about those subjects where some corporations and/or nations are looking at the prospect of a huge price tag should some conclusion of science be widely accepted?

We have seen that industry has employed its own shady "scientists" to "manufacture doubt" in many of these situations from tobacco to global warming. Here, Angela Kennedy shows how health insurers, including the UK and other governments, have waged a massive war on science in order to avoid liability for treatment and disability in a number of very common diseases.

Ms. Kennedy examines the curious case of a small cadre of insurance lobbyists, trained as psychiatrists and posing as scientists. Their mission: save insurers as many billions as possible by "manufacturing doubt" about the aetiology and pathophysiology of a number of very high-cost diseases.

These diseases, such as ME, have been shown in the peer-reviewed scientific literature to be organic physical diseases, with a good amount of the organic pathophysiology established. Notwithstanding the science, this anti-science cadre has been able to create confusion about this fact by producing their own patently invalid definitions of disease, conducting studies using these invalid definitions and then exaggerating the results of even these invalid studies. Then they write copious review papers in journals and textbook chapters. In this way they are able to decisively drown out actual science from the marketplace of ideas.

With Billions at stake, it is perhaps unsurprising that insurers use frontmen to distort the science in order to delay payouts.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By flex on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book which shows how much incentive there is for health care organisations, private insurance companies and corporations to manipulate the field of psychiatry for it own issues of control.

There is almost zero science in psychiatry yet it used used as the predominant science when it suits certain vested interests,lobbying groups, support of the status quo ideology and mainly for financial and corporate protection of previous ills or negligence.

The crime against people with ME is the same one that was perpetrated against those with MS, epilepsy and even more recently peptic Ulcers.

Psychiatry is the "science" that declared homosexuality a mental illness well into eh 1970s and on their watch in was a "crime" punishable by imprisonment.

This book exposes the many flaws in the deep routed psychogenic belief systems employed by people like Simon Wessely, Peter White and Michael Sharp and then rolled out as policy.

For many years they have produced fraudulent papers and manipulated criteria and data whilst in the pay of various insurance companies and government departments or simply to protect their own previous agendas.

They pontificate on everything from ME the Camelford water poisoning disaster. Anywhere a get out clause is required they are there with their same KGB style explanations spouting the same formula or "nothing to see here move along".

Whatever their current affiliations are, and even if they claim to be now non affiliated, they are simply now protecting their own past rhetoric with further flawed "studies" out of self preservation and desperation.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Tilbury on 4 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a comprehensive, lucid, and devastating critique of one of medicine's blind spots: the tendency by doctors to dismiss patients' illnesses as being 'in the mind'. The author does not discuss historical aspects of this very much, but has focused on contemporary medical practice. I was struck how eminently sensible her argument was. At the same time, it is an extremely learned treatise, with copious references. I had never really considered this problem much before, presuming that all 'psychosomatic' diagnosis came from a place of medical certainty and authoritative knowledge. It came as something of a shock to learn how muddled the idea of psychosomatic (or as the author terms it 'psychogenic') illness actually is. How patients are harmed by this muddled idea was another important thing I took from reading this. I think this might turn out to be a very important book.
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