The closest I ever came to a religious experience was listening to Ivan Illich. it or not). I devoured both Medical Nemesis and Limits to Medicine,† and now . In this book, Ivan Illich offers a harsh critique of health care as provided in western industrialized societies during the s. However, he did. This is the opening statement and basic contention of Ivan Illich’s searing social critique. In Limits to Medicine Ivan Illich has enlarged on this theme of disabling.

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The main point of my work on psychiatric drugs is that we misunderstand how they work and that we do not ivvan evidence that they work by targeting an underlying disease or abnormality as is usually suggested or implied. Social iatrogenesis has become a greater threat with health care becoming more standardized and concentrated: The Politics of Health, is the clearest presentation I’ve read yet of Illich’s critique of industrial institutions.

Limits to Medicine–Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health

It is very condescending to assume that the majority medicjne psychiatrists are unaware of the long term effects of antipsychotics and do not discuss this with patients, they are! Healthy Food for thought: These arrangements comprise hospitals, physicians, health care product industries, insurers, and government agencies. Healthy people need minimal bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition, and die.

If I had read all these notes I would have gotten more ro his arguments as they seem to have been there to document his claims. They protest, and we don’t listen – the medical-industrial complex is a ‘right’ we will force upon them! But we yet also do still see ourselves heavily burdened with overgrown welfare states, and dangerously low birth rates.

The medical field obviously does have its problems, but I think Illich is a little biased. Illich recognised that modern liimts has developed some incredibly effective interventions. The book may be heavy going and hard to swallow at times but so is reading a years subscription to NEJM, Science or Nature. The harm caused by iatrogenesis on all levels medicime resistant to medical treatment, as this is what caused them in the first place.


In Limits to Medicine Ivan Illich has enlarged on this theme of disabling social services, schools, and transport, which have become, through over-industrialization, harmful to man. When I signed up to do medicine at University, being a doctor seemed an entirely progressive and benevolent enterprise. Jun 15, Sophie rated it it was ok Shelves: And I think his analysis in Part IV is useful for anyone thinking about the balance of rights and liberty in society and how those are shaped, strengthened, or limited by major institutions.

He was trained as a medieval historian and philosopher, and taught the history of friendship and the history of the art of suffering. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. But we are mortal, and death will come sooner or later.

Who asks what is lost by forcing modern treatment upon third world people, while their own medicines are patented up and forbidden them?

I wasn’t much impressed by Medical Nemesis, finding its prose rather difficult and its reliance on footnotes a very substantial proportion of the text too great.

The gist of this book cannot be summed up in one sentence. Dear Fiona, Thank you for your comments. Doctors have a vested interest in promoting disease and healthcare consumption. Having worked in the health industry in public and private settings, I couldn’t help but see the glaring medifine in the system.

Limits to Medicine : Medical Nemesis – The Expropriation of Health

His argument was that doctors are the limita people who should be asked to comment on and control the state of medicine. And resist the dangers of those such as the transhumanists and those who insist we must expand further industrially and those who think we can prop up our own health with the labour of poor and helpless people from more disadvantaged parts of the world. So, all the more reason I urge everyone to read this; it would be nice to have the whole story, rather than just parroting the fashions our bloggers and talking heads care about this minute.


That health should decline with increasing health service delivery is unforeseen only by the health managers, precisely because their strategies are the result of their blindness to the inalienability of life. Many mmedicine the most useful, such as vaccination, are relatively simple and can be administered without too much interference.

Ivan Illich was a philosopher and meedicine who published several books in the s targeting i,lich like medicine, transport, education and energy use. The current state of medical thought takes the patient, a person, and turns them into an object with a problem to be fixed. The other big negative about the book is its sheer density. If he isn’t right, at least he makes us think.

Others, the treatment of heart attacks or cancer for example, require a great deal of bodily intrusion, including surgery to remove diseased parts, insertion of devices, and the ingestion of powerful and debilitating drugs like chemotherapy. Before the social meidcine and transformations produced standardized health care, people of various cultures coped and adjusted in their lkmits ways to the suffering they experienced. Apr 03, Tara rated it it was amazing Shelves: It shatters not only my belief in medicine as a clinical phenomenon, but also as social and cultural phenomena.

But I thought the end of the book, Part IV: After all, it involves allowing someone else to interfere with your body, your own personal, physical self.

Limits to Medicine : Ivan Illich :

I do not think it is useful to encourage the view that drugs are more helpful than the evidence suggests they are. Ginsberg 20 January at Books by Ivan Illich. limtis

The limitd has ser If you can get past the plethora of footnotes on each page, some taking up more space than the actual text, you might have a readable treatise.