Disease-mongers : how doctors, drug companies, and insurers are making you feel sick /
Lynn Payer.
New York : J. Wiley, c1992.
xii, 292 p. ; 24 cm.
0471543853 (cloth) :
More Details
New York : J. Wiley, c1992.
0471543853 (cloth) :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-284) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1992-08-31:
Are your health care providers duping you? Payer ( How to Avoid a Hysterectomy ), formerly chief medical correspondent for the International Herald Tribune and health editor for the New York Times , seems to think so, arguing that far too many doctors, as well as drug companies and insurers, are bilking the public, frightening people with unnecessary tests and concentrating far too much on benign conditions--e.g., fibrocystic breast disease, mitral valve prolapse and insomnia. Even though young women fall victim to breast cancer, for example, she opposes regular mammogram screenings for women under age 50 because the test often does not find cancer in the women. She cites studies showing that women who underwent regular screenings did not fare much better against breast cancer than those who were not screened. And she's concerned that since mammograms detect noncancerous abnormalities that must be checked out, they cause anguish and unnecessary surgical expense215 . When it comes to insurance, she advises that if a person has a pre-existing condition that he or she does not want to acknowledge, the person should make sure there is no way an insurance company can find out about it (either through medical or pharmacy records or from a central medical data bank). To be sure, there are devious drug companies and incompetent and crooked physicians who will wreak havoc with one's health. And yes, doctors often administer far too many tests in order to prevent a malpractice challenge. But does that mean the public should abandon medicine--or common sense? (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 1992-09:
Payer's book seems to be addressed to the ``worried well'' or hypochondriacs and offers scant comfort to anyone living with any medical condition for which ignoring or minimizing symptoms and simply being tougher may not be the best idea. This book has many important ideas and insights into the way we conceptualize disease but is severely limited by the author's anecdotal style (though the text is heavily referenced) and her focus on individuals, making only passing acknowledgment of the social, economic, and ethical contexts expressed more coherently and sensitively in Arthur Barsky's Worried Sick: Our Troubled Quest for Wellness (Little, Brown, 1988) or Daniel Callahan's What Kind of Life: The Limits of Medical Progress ( LJ 1/90). An optional purchase.-- Mary Chitty, Biotrends Research, Natick, Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, August 1992
Publishers Weekly, August 1992
Booklist, September 1992
Library Journal, September 1992
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Table of Contents
How to Create Diseasep. 1
The Disease-Mongers: How the Medical-Industrial Complex Persuades You to Be Sickp. 3
A Disease Is Not a "Thing"p. 19
The Misuse of Diagnostic Testsp. 37
The Players and the Payersp. 53
Disease-Mongering Tacticsp. 87
Case Studiesp. 101
Aches and Pains: Becoming a Patientp. 103
Lyme Disease and "Lime" Diseasep. 119
If You're Tired, You Have...p. 129
Allergy to Life and Everything Elsep. 137
Creating Cardiac Cripples I: "Silent" Myocardial Ischemia: Should You Take a Stress Test?p. 145
Creating Cardiac Cripples II: Murmurs, Mitral Valve Prolapse, and Arrhythmiasp. 159
The "Diseasing" of Risk Factors: High Cholesterol and Blood Pressurep. 171
The Medicalization of Menopause: Choose Your Diseasep. 189
"Precancerous" Breasts and the Overselling of Mammographyp. 203
Cosmetic Considerationsp. 219
Psychiatric "Disorders": From Hyperactive Kids to Anxiety and Insomniap. 233
Diagnosing Our Genesp. 245
Putting Disease in Its Place: A Prescription for Changep. 251
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 285
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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