Title The Social Medicine Reader, Volume I, 3/e
Subtitle Ethics and Cultures of Biomedicine
Author Jonathan Oberlander, Mara Buchbinder, Larry R. Churchill, Sue E. Estroff, Nancy M. P. King, Barry F. Saunders
ISBN 9781478002819
List price GBP 21.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 376
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Duke University Press (Combined Academic Publishers)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Probing and at times provocative, the wide-ranging assemblage of writings in The Social Medicine Reader offers an interdisciplinary dose of inspiration. If this collection doesn’t get you to think, nothing will!”

—Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear.


“The new third edition of The Social Medicine Reader is absolutely essential reading for those who seek to understand the core issues that determine health, disease, and medical care in our current times. The essays collected here direct critical attention to the social forces that produce disease or protect health, the meanings of disease and their impact on patients, and the complex ethical and political issues confronting patients and providers. This is a must-read for anyone interested in disparities in health, access to quality of care, and justice in our ability to effectively and compassionately address the needs of patients and populations.”

—Allan M. Brandt, Harvard University


The extensively updated and revised third edition of the bestselling Social Medicine Reader provides a survey of the challenging issues facing today’s health care providers, patients, and caregivers by bringing together moving narratives of illness, commentaries by physicians, debates about complex medical cases, and conceptually and empirically based writings by scholars in medicine, the social sciences, and the humanities.

Volume 1, Ethics and Cultures of Biomedicine, contains essays, case studies, narratives, fiction, and poems that focus on the experiences of illness and of clinician-patient relationships. Among other topics the contributors examine the roles and training of professionals alongside the broader cultures of biomedicine; health care; experiences and decisions regarding death, dying, and struggling to live; and particular manifestations of injustice in the broader health system. The Reader is essential reading for all medical students, physicians, and health care providers.


Preface to the Third Edition


Part I. Experiences of Illness and Clinician-Patient Relationships

Chapter 1. Silver Water (Amy Bloom)

Chapter 2. “Is She Experiencing any Pain?”: Disability and the Physician-Patient Relationship (S. K. Toombs)

Chapter 3. The Cost of Appearances (Arthur Frank)

Chapter 4. The Ship Pounding (Donald Hall)

Chapter 5. God at the Bedside (Jerome Groopman)

Chapter 6. The Use of Force (William Carlos Williams)

Chapter 7. Sunday Dialogue: Conversations between Doctor and Patient (Rebecca Dresser)

Chapter 8. What the Doctor Said (Raymond Carver)

Part II. Professionalism and the Culture of Medicine

Chapter 9. The Learning Curve (Atul Gawande)

Chapter 10. The Perfect Code (Terrence Holt)

Chapter 11. Coeur d’Alene (Richard B. Weinberg)

Chapter 12. The “Worthy” Patient: Rethinking the “Hidden Curriculum” in Medical Education (Robin T. Higashi, Allison Tillack, Michael A. Steinman, C. Bree Johnston, and G. Michael Harper)

Chapter 13. How Doctors Think: Clinical Judgement and the Practice of Medicine (Kathryn Montgomery)

Chapter 14. Healing Skills for Medical Practice (Larry R. Churchill and David Schenck)

Chapter 15. The Hair Stylist, the Corn Merchant, and the Doctor: Ambiguously Altruistic (Lois Shepherd)

Chapter 16. Necessary Accessories (Nusheen Ameenuddin)

Chapter 17. The Critical Vocation of the Essay (Barry F. Saunders)

Chapter 18. The Art of Medicine: Asthma and the Value of Contradictions (Ian Whitmarsh)

Chapter 19. Script (Mara Buchbinder and Dragana Lassiter)

Chapter 20. Ordinary Medicine: The Power and Confusion of Evidence (Sharon R. Kaufman)

Chapter 21. “Ethics and Clinical Research”: The 50th Anniversary of Beecher’s Bombshell (David S. Jones, Christine Grady, and Susan E. Lederer)

Part III. Health Care Ethics and the Clinicians Role

Chapter 22. Glossary of Basic Ethical Concepts in Health Care and Research (Nancy M. P. King)

Chapter 23. Ethics in Medicine: An Introduction to Moral Tools and Traditions (Larry R. Churchill, Nancy M. P. King, David Schenck, and Rebecca L. Walker )

Chapter 24. Historical and Contemporary Codes of Ethics: The Hippocratic Oath, the Prayer of Maimonides, the Declaration of Geneva, and the AMA Principles of Medical Ethics

Chapter 25. Enduring and Emerging Challenges of Informed Consent (Christine Grady)

Chapter 26. Teaching the Tyranny of the Form: Informed Consent in Person and on Paper (Katie Watson)

Chapter 27. A Terrifying Truth (Rebecca Dresser)

Chapter 28. The Lie (Lawrence D. Grouse)

Chapter 29. Discharge Decisions and the Dignity of Risk (Debjani Mukherjee)

Chapter 30. No One Needs to Know (Neil S. Calman)

Part IV. Death, Dying, and Lives at the Margins

Chapter 31. Forty Years of Work on End-of-Life Care: From Patients’ Rights to Systemic Reform (Susan M. Wolf, Nancy Berlinger, and Bruce Jennings)

Chapter 32. Try to Remember Some Details (Yehuda Amichai)

Chapter 33. Failing to Thrive? (Kim Sue)

Chapter 34. The Dead Donor Rule and Organ Transplantation (Robert D. Truog and Franklin G. Miller)

Chapter 35. The Darkening Veil of “Do Everything” (Chris Feudtner and Wynne Morrison)

Chapter 36. Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making (Timothy E. Quill)

Chapter 37. Active and Passive Euthanasia (James A. Rachels)

Chapter 38. Clinician-Patient Interactions about Requests for Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Patient and Family View (Anthony L. Back, Helene Starks, Clarissa Hsu, Judith R. Gordon, Ashok Bharucha, and Robert A. Pearlman)

Chapter 39. My Father’s Death (Susan M. Wolf)

Part V. Allocation and Justice

Chapter 40. Glossary: Justice and the Allocation of Health Resources (Rebecca L. Walker and Larry R. Churchill)

Chapter 41. Dead Man Walking (Michael Stillman and Monalisa Tailor)

Chapter 42. Full Disclosure: Out-of-Pocket Costs as Side Effects (Peter A. Ubel, Amy P. Abernethy, and S. Yousuf Zafar)

Chapter 43. Seven Sins of Humanitarian Medicine (David R. Welling, James M. Ryan, David G. Burris, and Norman M. Rich)

Chapter 44. Who Should Receive Life Support during a Public Health Emergency? Using Ethical Principles to Improve Allocation Design (Douglas B. White, Mitchell H. Katz, John M. Luce, and Bernard Lo)

About the Editors


About the Editors:

Jonathan Oberlander is Professor and Chair of Social Medicine and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Mara Buchbinder is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Larry R. Churchill is Professor of Medical Ethics Emeritus at Vanderbilt University.

Sue E. Estroff is Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Nancy M. P. King is Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

Barry F. Saunders is Associate Professor of Social Medicine and holds adjunct appointments in Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Ronald P. Strauss is Dental Friends Distinguished Professor of Dental Ecology and Professor of Social Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Rebecca L. Walker is Professor of Social Medicine, Core Faculty in the Center for Bioethics, and holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Philosophy, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Target Audience:

This book is essential reading for all medical students, physicians, and health care providers.

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