Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and Its Discontents Hardcover – 12 Aug 2004
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"'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.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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. :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful analysis, carefully argued, about man's place in medicine today, as a patient and as a physician. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Dr P J Davenport
Recommended by a medical colleague, certainly thoughtful, but a little heavy going and very few laughs in it. May improve on rereading.Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by margaret Corkett