This ground-breaking book by one of the nation's leading experts on medical ethics, Daniel Callahan, traces the root cause of America's health-care crisis not to inefficient organization or waste, but rather to society's and the medical community's relentless quest for perfection.
Callahan (What Kind of Life: The Limits of Medical Progress) here advocates a "sustainable, steady-state medicine" that stops consuming ever-more resources yet provides affordable health care "equitably accessible to all." High-tech medicine's pursuit of the eradication of all diseases and unlimited progress are no longer viable, he contends in his farsighted, visionary manifesto. Callahan examines the obstacles�social, financial, political�facing his modest agenda for medicine, but he nevertheless feels it can be accomplished through a combination of improved public health programs, emphasis on greater personal responsibility to alleviate such conditions as obesity and heart disease and a drastic reallocation of resources away from acute care toward massive preventive and educational efforts. While much of his thoroughgoing analysis seems directed primarily to medical professionals and policymakers, his clearly written prescription will open a dialogue among health-care critics and reformers, establishment defenders, holistic healers and the public. (Apr.)
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Simon & Schuster
September 04, 2008
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