The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America (Consumer Health Library) Hardcover – 19 Oct 1993
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The "Health Robbers", featuring over twenty highly respected authorities, explains the dangers of quack medicine, "alternative" cancer remedies, health fads, and "miracle diets." It argues for stronger laws and more vigorous policing of the marketplace. The essays answer such questions as: Are "organic" foods worth their extra cost? Can acupuncture cure anything? Can diet cure arthritis? Will spinal adjustments help my health? Will amino acids "pump up" my muscles? The answers to some of these questions should seem obvious, but the details in this volume, written in an informative, highly readable and easy-to-understand style, will astound you. Quackery is often harmful because it turns ill people away from legitimate and trusted therapeutic procedures. However, its heaviest toll is the financial loss, not only of those who pay directly, but to everyone who pays for bogus treatments through taxes, insurance premiums, and other ways that are less obvious.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Barrett's stance is reasonable. And where are the studies proving that chiropractic cures any disease?
Barrett is something of a polarizing figure, but I find him a lot more trustworthy than I do the people bashing him. My experience with Reiki, energy healing, shiatsu, polarity therapy and accupuncture line up with Barrett and company's assessment of them: it's nice to have another person paying special attention to you, and I may feel better for a very brief while afterwards, but these methods don't cure a damned thing.
I wish the book were a little more up-to-date, but I can't have everything. Anyway, I recommend this book for patients, or potential patients who don't want to be sold a bill of goods at extremely inflated prices. Use your common sense.
This good book has these main qualities:
1- It talks about quackery, an important subject. Quackery remains strong today.
2- When this book talks about quackery not aproved by conventional medicine, this book has courage. Chiropractics, homeopaths, etc. have what they deserve, in this book.
3- This book is well organized and for the general public. At least the old ediction that I read was.
4- Dr. Stephen Barrett invited many persons to write this book with him. The wikipedia writes about Dr. Barrett these sentences: "Stephen Joel Barrett (/'bær't/; born 1933) is an American retired psychiatrist, author, co-founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), and the webmaster of Quackwatch. "
5- The vast majority of kinds of fake medicine (homeopathy, faith healing, etc.) are in this book. Each chapter is itself dedicated to buster a kind of fake medicine .
6- Dr. Stephen Barrett wrote in this book, what he really believes. Dr. Stephen Barrett isn't just a Doctor. He really believes, in conventional medicine.
This book has these main problems:
1- When it is talking about quackery claimed by commons charlatans, this book has courage, but when talking about quackery by graduateds in medicine, this book has just silence. For instance, I don't remember nothing writen in this book, about circumcision in United States. And this quackery remains in the United States. Another similar case. Mammography were producing more breast cancers, than preventing them. Again the fact that Americans spend for each person, in health, the double of money than Japaneses and have lower periods of life doesn't has any space, in this book. At least in my opinion, doctors must give health to the public, not to make many money and give mansions to themselves.
2- The chapter about Christian Faith healing was writen by Charles Lester Kinsolving, an almost unknowed minister in the Anglican Church. The chapter itself is well writen, but when Dr. Stephen Barrett chose an almost unknowed minister in the Anglican Church. Anglican Church isn't even 4% of American population and isn't knowed as a nest of faith healers. Dr. Stephen Barrett would had make this chapter using a knonwed minister of SBC or other big Protestant church, in the United States. Please Dr.Stephen Barrett has the same opinion about faith healing of me, but to choose an almost unknowed minister in the Anglican Church to write a chapter, about Christian faith healing remains a weak choice, even the chapter itself being well writen.
3- In the last 100 years the biggests health robbers in the world, were all graduated in medicine, not common quacks. Put aside Nazist eugenics, in the American case, Dr. Henry Cotton (1876 – May 1933) murdered much more people in his "conventional medicine" than any knowed common quack did. See the book "Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine" by Andrew Scull . This other book is available on Amazon.
Why even with these problems, why I have to give five stars, for this just good book, instead of just four? Because many others reviewers of this good book, in fact 100% quacks' friends, that in many cases, never even read this good book, but gave one star for this good book. To replace the injustice did for quacks' friends for this good book, then five stars for it. Don't believe in quacks' friends. Believe in serious doctors and in my review.
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