Taking the Medicine: A Short History of Medicine's Beautiful Idea, and Our Difficulty Swallowing It

Taking the Medicine: A Short History of Medicine's Beautiful Idea, and Our Difficulty Swallowing It

Druin Burch

Language: English

Pages: 330

ISBN: 1845951506

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Over the last 2,000 years doctors have killed patients far more often than they saved them, and patients have colluded because they trusted them—this book is about how little and how much has changed
For years patients have placed their trust in doctors and the drugs they prescribe; yet as this thought-provoking history of medicine demonstrates, this trust has often been misplaced. Whether prescribing opium or thalidomide, aspirin or antidepressants, doctors have consistently failed to test their favorite ideas—often with catastrophic results. Only with the development of antibiotics after World War II did doctors begin to cure more than they killed. Arguing that the real heroes of medicine are the men and women who demonstrated the vital importance of controlled testing over the "intuition" of doctors, this book questions the new breed of wonder drugs and the control of people's medicines—and their lives—by global drug companies. Both alarming and optimistic, this is essential reading for anyone interested in how and why to trust the pills they swallow.

The Nonverbal Advantage Secrets And Science Of Body Language At Work

Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years

Then Again

Sex, Marriage, and Family in World Religions





















My interview preparation was largely non-existent. ‘What if they ask you why you want to be a doctor?’ suggested a friend. ‘They won’t ask me that,’ I explained. ‘Why would anyone ask such a dull question? They’ll only get identical answers about liking science and wanting to help people.’ ‘Why do you want to be a doctor?’ they asked me. Whatever I said has long passed from my memory. Probably the examiners were not even listening. To this day I think it was a bad question. Medicine seemed

Penicillium no different in concept to carbolic acid, bleach or the other antiseptics. Fleming’s official biographer noted the routine nature of what occurred, explaining that Fleming observed a mould that appeared to kill bacteria: ‘probably the mould was producing acids which were harmful to the staphylococci – no unusual occurrence.’ It was not an important event. A far more astonishing demonstration of Penicillium’s properties had already come in 1897. A Frenchman named Ernest Duchesne

microbes in the genesis of disease is now well-known to us: we know that, not only do they generate disease, but they can also be the remedy for it, either by their attenuated culture or by products that they secrete. Duchesne concluded that Penicillium, injected at the same time as a dose of typhoid, made the latter harmless. He thought that this was important. He died of tuberculosis in 1912, at the age of thirty-seven, without having convinced anyone or having continued his own work beyond

Merck, however, was still in charge. During the Second World War, George W. Merck showed his patriotism and his power. He did everything he could to help America win the war through pharmaceuticals. That meant sulfonamides, penicillin and, at Camp Detrick in Maryland, germ warfare. One of Merck’s efforts at discovering new antibiotics lay in the company’s funding of Selman Waksman. A Russian émigré, Waksman’s academic interest at Rutgers University was in soil microbiology. Inspired by

from the war, there was influenza. It infected a third of the global population. Abnormally severe, the outbreak was also peculiar in another way. Influenza, like other infections, tends to pick off the physically vulnerable – the very young and very old. This time was an exception. Of the millions who died, half were at the physical peak of their lives. Histories of aspirin record the effectiveness of the drug in dealing with influenza. Aspirin, wrote Diarmuid Jeffreys in 2004, ‘helped millions

Download sample


About admin