Consumer Health: A Guide To Intelligent Decisions Paperback – Mar 5 2012
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About the Author
Stephen Barrett, M.D., has been investigating and writing about consumer health issues for more than 40 years. His Quackwatch website serves as a clearinghouse for information on health frauds and quackery. He serves as Vice President of the Institute for Science and Medicine, is a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, edits Consumer Health Digest, and is a peer-review panelist for several top medical journals.
Harriet Hall, M.D., a retired family physician and colonel, served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. Her administrative positions included Chief of Clinic Services and Director of Base Medical Services. She now devotes her time to investigating questionable health claims and writing and lecturing about pseudoscience, quackery, "alternative medicine," and critical thinking. She is a contributing editor to both Skeptical Inquirer and Skeptic magazines and a founding member and editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog.
Robert S. Baratz, M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D., an expert on quality of care, is President and Medical Director of South Shore Health Care in Braintree, Massachusetts, where he practices internal, oral, and occupational medicine. He serves on the medical faculties of Boston University and Tufts University and is used as a consultant by many regulatory and law enforcement agencies.
William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., is a health educator and professor in the Department of Public Health at California State University, Los Angeles. He is also the associate editor of Consumer Health Digest, co-host of the Credential Watch website, and a member of the editorial board of the journal FACT (Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies: An Evidence-Based Approach).
Manfred Kroger, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society at The Pennsylvania State University, where he has won several teaching awards. He is a science communicator for the Institute of Food Technologists and is scientific editor of its online journal, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. He is also associate editor of the Journal of Food Science and a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Similar to Dr. Paul Offit's off-putting experience with today's health-care system that he describes in the prologue to his Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine, my own experience with standard medecine in the past 20-odd years has been likewise a very mixed bag. I have twice faced cancer and survived by submitting to the standard treatments: once for colorectal cancer (stage 3) which meant surgery, chemo, and radiation - the infamous "cut, burn, poison" trilogy - and once for bladder cancer: surgery and chemo. Survive I did; but those remedies came with almost intolerable side effects that made me indifferent, for a time, as to whether I lived or died.
Should some other illness afflict me once more in the future, is there not, I wondered, a way to restored health that's not as brutal? Can there be therapies through unconventional medicine that are gentler, more bearable, but achieve the same objective?
Apparently not. Reading this book taught me this reality: _all_ therapies, not only the conventional "allopathic" ones that we love to hate, must necessarily be held to the same high standard of proof, the test of science, failing which -- to borrow Offit's words -- we'll be hoodwinked at a point in life when we are sick and most vulnerable, by healers who ask us to believe in them rather than in the science that fails to support their claims.
The book "Consumer Health" lists those failures. Is that an instance of "bias", as some commenters have charged? Indeed yes, it _is_ bias, and it is a good and responsible thing, this bias, because it is bias against health care providers telling patients things that are not true, presenting opinions as if they were facts. That bias is a precious service to the public.
I find the book to be a science-based aid that treats of these matters in some detail and helps to classify for the consumer's own protection the huge assortment of healing promotions modalities and nostrums that fall into the scientifically failed category that may alternatively be designated as wishful or magic thinking.
Bottom line: if you value your health, read this book.
mercials give better quality health advice.
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