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The Patient Paradox: Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad for Your Health

The Patient Paradox: Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad for Your Health (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Welcome to the world of sexed-up medicine, where patients have been turned into customers, and clinics and waiting rooms are jammed with healthy people, lured in to have their blood pressure taken and cholesterol, smear test, bowel or breast screening done. In the world of sexed-up medicine pharmaceutical companies gloss over research they don't like and charities often use dubious science and dodgy PR to 'raise awareness' of their disease, leaving a legacy of misinformation in their wake. Our obsession with screening swallows up the time of NHS staff and the money of healthy people who pay thousands to private companies for tests they don't need. Meanwhile, the truly sick are left to wrestle with disjointed services and confusing options. Explaining the truth behind the screening statistics and investigating the evidence behind the hype, Margaret McCartney, an award-winning writer and doctor, argues that this patient paradox - too much testing of well people and not enough care for the sick - worsens health inequalities and drains professionalism, harming both those who need treatment and those who don't.

Medical & VeterinaryMedicine: general issuesHealth systems & servicesMedical & VeterinaryMedicine: general issuesPublic health & preventive medicineMedical screeningMedical & VeterinaryMedicine: general issuesPublic health & preventive medicinePersonal & public health Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd. Publication Date: 22/02/2012 ISBN-13: 9781780660004  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Margaret McCartney is a GP in Glasgow, and has three children. She started writing for the press after being infuriated by an article in a newspaper which claimed that CT body screening was the way to stay well. Since then she has written for most UK newspapers, as well as the British Medical Journal (BMJ), other magazines such as Vogue and Prospect, has had columns in the Guardian and the FT Weekend, and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Inside Health. She has won prizes from the Medical Journalists' Association and the European School of Oncology, as well as the Healthwatch award. She has a strong interest in evidence, professionalism, screening and risk. She blogs and tweets. The Patient Paradox is her first book.

More books by Margaret McCartney

Customer Reviews

The book describes the conflict that can arise between well-intentioned incentives to GPs to "improve" patient health and best medical practice according to thorough research (Cochrane Reviews). Simple practical steps that include stopping smoking, cutting drinking and maintaining healthy weight with exercise are often trodden over in the rush to screen for things that are not an immediate threat but can earn a fortune for private companies that are extremely smart in how to bring politicians to their cause. A useful glossary differentiates types of medical trial of varying value and triangulates neatly the balance of power between politicians, patients and drug companies in what goes on in a GP's surgery. The chapter on how charitable a medical charity really is was also revealing.

- 17/09/2012
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