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Where's the Evidence? : Debates in Modern Medicine

William A. Silverman

Where's the Evidence?
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Reviewed by Suzanne Calpestri,
Director of the George and Mary Foster Anthropology Library, University of California.

Where's the Evidence? is a collection of essays written by William A. Silverman, a pioneer in neonatology who is well regarded for conducting one of the most important randomized control trials in medicine. (see Pediatrics vol 102:1:2 , July 1998, Fifty Years of Pediatrics: 1948-1998).

The essays were written over the past decade for a medical audience, but their subject matter and the range of materials Silverman brings to the discussions make them useful, and important reading for a much larger public. Silverman centers the debates in medicine around the social consequences of medical practice and covers such issues as the increasing and "gross maldistribution of power between patient/family and medical techocrat; the problems caused by a "confusion of goals" within medicine, and the process(es) by which medical authority is established. In so doing, he raises key questions such as, what's the new knowledge for, or, when is medicine's benevolence on behalf of patients/families misplaced. As a collection of key issues in the development and application of medical knowledge, the present volume provides a wealth of case studies which could be probed by scholars in fields such as anthropology, sociology, public policy and philosophy.

Integrity, courage, clarity, and an impressive breadth of scholarship characterize the essays and his afterthoughts. He has truly mastered the art of explaining the most complex and critical issues in medicine in terms that are understandable, and useful to the public at large.

Order from Amazon $32.50

Author's Note: The paper edition of his book can also be ordered direct by telephone at 1-800-451-7556. The price is $32.50 and the ISBN is 0192630881.

Read: An Interview with Dr. William Silverman, Father of Neonatal Intensive Care", by Helen Harrison


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