1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A work of genius,
This review is from: Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis - The Expropriation of Health (Pelican) (Paperback)
This is a work of genius. Illich clearly sets out the book's intent from the beginning; 'The medical establishment has become a major threat to health. The disabling impact of professional control over medicine has reached the proportions of an epidemic'. Here and elsewhere Illich challenges some of society's most cherished assumptions, like our unquestioning belief in the benefits of universal education, and here the idea that health improvements during the lifetime of industrial capitalism have resulted from the increase in provision and quality of health care. Supported by a depth of literature unmatched anywhere else in social studies Illich rubbishes this idea, arguing instead that the last 100 years or so has seen a rise in power of the medical profession and medical institutions without them having contributed markedly to the improvements in life expectancy or general health we enjoy. His critique is not only of modern medicine, but of a lethal and disabling capitalism in general. Written in the 1970s, this work is even more relevant in 2012 in the UK as a Coalition government seeks to administer its death-blow to the National Health Service.