Manual Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm since Hippocrates

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Bloodletting, purging and induced vomiting….


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Publisher: Oxford University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title We all face disease and death, and rely on the medical profession to extend our lives. Buy New Learn more about this copy.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. A leitmotif in the book is the microscope; not only because of its role in microbiology, but I think also because it was a form of subversive technology. Unlike medical degrees and Galenic textbooks, anyone could possess a microscope; even the skills required to make them were not incredibly rare.

No wonder they were scared. Similarly, the beginning of statistics made it increasingly impossible to conceal the uselessness of medicine. John Snow could plot cholera cases on a map; so could the priest Henry Whitehead, who set out to conduct his own research in order to refute Snow but ended up convincing himself.

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Counting, like microscopy, was fatal to the closed system of knowledge. None of this guarantees success; Snow had to convince William Farr, a top government official and a sort of David Kane figure who theorised that cholera was caused by living too close to sea level. He argued that people at sea level actually lived 13 feet above it because of buildings, and predicted that the race would degenerate unless the government forced everyone to build on higher ground.


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  • Galenic — doctors practising in Iraq. The answer was apparently a good finger-wagging, and maybe a thrashing or six; by the s the rate was effectively zero. January 14, at pm. Hmmmm, yeah, good point — I probably ought to read the book.

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    Ever hear of the London Statistical Society? Not to be confused with the Statistical Society of London tr.

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    Then the utilitarians stuck their oar in, and that was that. January 16, at pm. Was it like the Nine Billion Names of God, i.