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Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and Its Discontents Hardcover – 12 Aug 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; 1st Edition edition (5 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843541262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843541264
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 620,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'One of the most intriguing figures in the current intellectual scene.' Ray Monk"

About the Author

Raymond Tallis is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester, and has published over 150 research papers, articles and textbooks. He is also the Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians Committee on Ethical Issues in Medicine. He is a poet and a novelist as well as a renowned philosopher. And his recent work, Enemies of Hope, brings together his many strands of thought. The Roymond Tallis reader has recently been published by Macmillan.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this lively and hard-hitting book, Raymond Tallis, Professor of Geriatrics at Manchester University, surveys the current state of British medicine.
He points out how much we all gain from the NHS. Britain is top of nine Western countries in years of life expectancy added for each 1% of GDP spent on health; the USA is ninth. We get 2.5 more years of good health than Americans do. Since 1950, we have gained five extra years of life due to improved medical care under the NHS, and infant mortality has fallen by 80%.
Yet, as Tallis reminds us, much of the media relishes only bad news about health care, fostering a culture of contempt focused on scandal and personalities, and scaremongering to attack the NHS. He cites shoddy reporting by Jeremy Laurance, Melanie Phillips, Anthony Browne, Will Hutton and Simon Heffer.
Tallis analyses the assault on MMR vaccination, started by Dr Andrew Wakefield's article. This was a preliminary study of just twelve children, with no control group, so it could not prove a link with autism, let alone a cause. But Wakefield immediately called a press conference to urge abandoning the triple vaccine. Tallis rightly calls this utterly irresponsible.
The media highlighted Wakefield's claim and ignored further research - two British studies, a Danish study of half a million children, and a Finnish study of 1.8 million children - which proved that there was no more autism among vaccinated children than among non-vaccinated children. The Danish study also found no link between the development of autism and age at vaccination or time since vaccination.
Tallis also criticises Peter Duesberg, who irresponsibly claimed that AIDS was not due to a virus.
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Format: Hardcover
As a student nurse, I approached this book with interest.
Ray Tallis supplies a spirited and well-argued reposte to those who seek to portray doctors as aloof, over-empowered and arrogant. Instead Tallis argues that doctors are often disempowered and assailed by ill-informed pressure groups, a hysterical media and meddling politicians.
In places this leads Tallis to come across as something of a medicalised Grumpy Old Man, but it must be conceded that his points are valid and well-argued. Tallis' account of the recent hysteria over the MMR vaccine is excellent in particular. He relates how a single piece of dubious research led to a major panic, with some shockingly irresponsible and uninformed behaviour by campaigners, journalists and politicians that continued well after any link between the MMR vaccine and autism had been discredited by research.
Having read Hippocratic Oaths, I think I may have to be nicer to my doctor colleagues in future. :)
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Format: Paperback
reasoned thoughtful overview of the politics of medicine, essential reading for todays health professionals,puts the stresses of the job in a rational context, and certainly helped me to make sense of the rapidly changing environment we work in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear Dr Tallis - this is in my opinion the best commentary written on modern medicine and the NHS. Part of my duties are acting as a 'clinical supervisor' to ST1s and ST3s. I recommend your book to all of them and keep copies on hand to encourage them. I have also recently taken to showing them some of your other commentaries, in the seemingly futile endeavour to politicise them. May I be so bold as to suggest updating 'Hippocratic Oaths'. It is still the best. Patrick
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Format: Hardcover
Tallis potrays the current state of the NHS very well in this book with a great philisophical angle. As someone applying to study medicine, it illustrates very well what I'm going to deal with in the future and also has opened up perspectives of medicine that I haven't perceived before. I would recommend this book to all people who have had, do have or will have ties with the NHS (other than being a patient of it) especially prospective medical students, people associated with the governing bodies of the NHS and also people who side with the tabloids against doctors. A well earnt 4*'s.
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