Monday, August 23, 2010

White Coat
Black Hat

Adventures on the

Dark Side

of Medicine

Preview of coming attractions. Carl Elliot's book will be released on September 21, 2010

From Amazon:

"Enjoyable to read and laced with sardonic wit, this is an eye-opening work that all consumers of health care should read."
—Library Journal
"Carl Elliott has written a deep, daring and sometimes very funny book about aspects of medicine you've never seen, and probably never will unless you take the time to crack this cover. You’ll discover what it means when healers forget—or maybe never grasped—their main mission, and pollute not only medicine but all those within its circle. Elliott's book describes the conundrum of modern medical practice wittily, incisively, and finally beautifully. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever been a patient, in other words—for everyone."

—Lauren Slater

Over the last twenty-five years, medicine and consumerism have been on an unchecked collision course, but, until now, the fallout from their impact has yet to be fully uncovered.

A writer for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, Carl Elliott ventures into the uncharted dark side of medicine, shining a light on the series of social and legislative changes that have sacrificed old-style doctoring to the values of consumer capitalism.

Along the way, he introduces us to the often shifty characters who work the production line in Big Pharma: from the professional guinea pigs who test-pilot new drugs and the ghostwriters who pen “scientific” articles for drug manufacturers to the PR specialists who manufacture “news” bulletins.

We meet the drug reps who will do practically anything to make quota in an ever-expanding arms race of pharmaceutical gift-giving; the “thought leaders” who travel the world to enlighten the medical community about the wonders of the latest release; even, finally, the ethicists who oversee all that commercialized medicine has to offer from their pharma-funded perches.

Taking the pulse of the medical community today, Elliott discovers the culture of deception that has become so institutionalized many people do not even see it as a problem.

Head-turning stories and a rogue’s gallery of colorful characters become his springboard for exploring larger ethical issues surrounding money.

Are there certain things that should not be bought and sold?

In what ways do the ethics of business clash with the ethics of medical care?

And what is wrong with medical consumerism anyway?

Elliott asks all these questions and more as he examines the underbelly of medicine.


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