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Killing Us Softly: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (6 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007491743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007491742
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,585,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Offit is a rare combination of scientist, doctor, communicator and advocate. . . . What is needed is more people like [him] willing to engage the skeptics in a debate that just will not go away.” (Financial Times, on Deadly Choices)

“Few scientists are willing to touch this third rail of science publicity; Offit grabs it with two hands.” (Newsweek, on Autism's False Prophets)

About the Author

Paul A. Offit, M.D., is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, as well as the Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. An expert in the field of vaccines, he is a recipient of many awards, including the J. Edmund Bradley Prize for Excellence in Pediatrics from the University of Maryland Medical School; the Young Investigator Award in Vaccine Development from the Infectious Disease Society of America; and a Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Visit his website at www.paul-offit.com.


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's a well written easy read that puts the human cost of alternative medicine in focus. At a time when being intellectually honest and relying to evidence sometimes seems to be a minority position it's nice to have a book like this to refer to. There will inevitably be many one star reviews from the faithful but I think I'd rather throw my lot in with the expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology and the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine etc. according to his Wiki page than conspiracy loons and weed worshipers.
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I just finished reading Dr. Paul Offit's latest book, "Killing Us Softly". Before that I have read some of his other books, Autism's False Prophets and Deadly Choices. I have also read Dr. Ben Goldacre's books, so I profess an interest in this area. I have no connection to the industry however.

"Killing Us Softly" is a page turner. It is a well written book, and it takes some interesting topics and treats them really well. I learned much about Linus Pauling, Vitamins, and how the "Alternative Medicine" industry works. And it is an industry! According to the book Vitamin sales is worth $34 billion a year, in general for no good effect. I do feel that Dr. Paul Offit over states the case a bit against alternative medicine in the treatment of Steve Jobs, who was on an alternative medicine for nine months before he got his cancer treated professionally. From reading other web sites I know that there is professional disagreement as to whether the nine months delay in getting treatment made the difference between life and death, where as the book states that this delay cost Steve Jobs his life.

The book does in general strike a good balance and is filled with interesting facts. The author has a great knowledge of the area and it clearly shows, making the book an engaging and educational read. I would recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Offit manages to challenge the many fallacies and falsehoods of alternative medicine without being judgmental or dogmatic. This is a humble book, yet simultaneously profound. Read it. It might save you money, or even your life.
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Format: Paperback
We have so much access to information in today's society that we often seek out the things that only confirm our opinions, not challenge them. This is an important book at an important time as anti-science movements are becoming popular while breakthroughs and advances in Science are only known to those who seek it out and very rarely are covered in mainstream media.

It is very sad that if you promote science you are called a big pharma shrill. How about big placebo? This is a massive industry now, growing and making its profits off of people because of their lack of skeptical and critical thinking skills are literally throwing money away on things that do nothing for you. I applaud those who would stand up to people who want to ignore and pretend science is in bed with corporations or whatever paranoia people harbor.

Thank you Dr. Offit, you deserve praise instead of death threats; hopefully we can eventually win with reason and logic over these people who put their faith in magical thinking over the scientific method.
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A great book debunking the alternative medicine industry, and explaining why for some people they seem to work, but why medically they don't. I used to think there must be value in taking vitamins and that there must be something in acupuncture, but this explains why we seem to accept these as facts when there is no science behind them.
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This book should be read by all who take vitamins and other supplements. The scams and nonsense which Dr Offit exposes are truly frightening.
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Format: Paperback
What a eye opener.... I have spent years popping the so called natural medicine.
After reading this book I have now stopped and nothing....I am exactly the same as I was with the taking the pills. A very interesting read for all who think they will
be saved by the ageing health and vitality fairy tale. Its not going to happen.
Eat well drink water and exercise or just walk. That's it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The authors statement 'there is no such thing as alternative medicine only medicine' is something I whole heartedly agree with. I firmly believe that evidence based medicine is the only way to practice. This book provides an excellent insight into the damage caused (physically, mentally and financially) in bypassing creating an evidence base by labelling an intervention as 'natural' or 'alternative'. On the other hand this book is not a one sided attack on alternative medicine as it also discusses alternative medicines and therapies that have been proven to work or have some therapeutic value. Highly recommend.
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