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Medicine and Politics in America

Thomas Szasz

Paper $19.95    |    0-8156-0763-6    |   2003

A clear presentation of a hidden social danger, all too often ignored in our health care debates and avoided in our political contests.

"In Szasz's view, America has created a contemporary fascist health state in which its campaigns aimed at the eradication of smoking and obesity focus not on the responsibility of individuals to quit smoking or to lose weight but on the promise that well-funded research agendas will solve the problem. Plenty of health-care professionals and politicians will disagree with Szasz's definition of disease and his condemnation of the modern 'pharmacracy,' but no reader can put down this book without having been disturbed, provoked and challenged to see the American medical profession in a new light."
dashPublishers Weekly

The modern penchant for transforming human problems into "diseases" and judicial sanctions into "treatments," replacing the rule of law with the rule of medical discretion, leads to a type of government social critic Thomas Szasz calls "pharmacracy." He warns that the creeping substitution of democracy for pharmacracydashprivate personal concerns increasingly perceived as requiring a medical-political responsedashinexorably erodes personal freedom and dignity.

Thomas Szasz is professor emeritus of psychiatry at State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. His books include The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement; The Meaning of Mind: Language, Morality, and Neuroscience; and Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide, all published by Syracuse University Press.

61/8 x 91/4, 248 pages, notes, bibliography, index

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