The Social Medicine Reader, Volume I, Third Edition

Ethics and Cultures of Biomedicine

The Social Medicine Reader, Volume I, Third Edition

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Information about volume 2 is available here.
Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: Published: May 2019

Medicine and Health > Medical Humanities, Sociology

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.


"A must-read for health care professionals, these readings are provocative and invite critical social and moral analysis among health care professionals. Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty." — B. A. D'Anna, Choice

“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

"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


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Price: $28.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

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.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface to the Third Edition  ix
Introduction  1
Part I. Experiences of Illness and Clinician-Patient Relationships
Silver Water / Amy Bloom  7
"Is She Experiencing any Pain?": Disability and the Physician-Patient Relationship / S. K. Toombs  15
The Cost of Appearances / Arthur Frank  20
The Ship Pounding / Donald Hall  25
God at the Bedside / Jerome Groopman  27
The Use of Force / William Carlos Williams  32
Sunday Dialogue: Conversations between Doctor and Patient / Rebecca Dresser  36
What the Doctor Said / Raymond Carver  42
Part II. Professionalism and the Culture of Medicine
The Learning Curve / Atul Gawande  45
The Perfect Code / Terrence Holt  63
Coeur d'Alene / Richard B. Weinberg  78
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  82
How Doctors Think: Clinical Judgement and the Practice of Medicine / Kathryn Montgomery  95
Healing Skills for Medical Practice / Larry R. Churchill and David Schenck  101
The Hair Stylist, the Corn Merchant, and the Doctor: Ambiguously Altruistic / Lois Shepherd  111
Necessary Accessories / Nusheen Ameenuddin  127
The Critical Vocation of the Essay / Barry F. Saunders  132
The Art of Medicine: Asthma and the Value of Contradictions/ Ian Whitmarsh  140
Script / Mara Buchbinder and Dragana Lassiter  145
Ordinary Medicine: The Power and Confusion of Evidence / Sharon R. Kaufman  149
"Ethics and Clinical Research": The 50th Anniversary of Beecher's Bombshell / David S. Jones, Christine Grady, and Susan E. Lederer  154
Part III. Health Care Ethics and the Clinician's Role
Glossary of Basic Ethical Concepts in Health Care and Research / Nancy M. P. King  167
Ethics in Medicine: An Introduction to Moral Tools and Traditions / Larry R. Churchill, Nancy M. P. King, David Schenck, and Rebecca L. Walker  175
Historical and Contemporary Codes of Ethics: The Hippocratic Oath, the Prayer of Maimonides, the Declaration of Geneva, and the AMA Principles of Medical Ethics  191
Enduring and Emerging Challenges of Informed Consent / Christine Grady  197
Teaching the Tyranny of the Form: Informed Consent in Person and on Paper / Katie Watson  212
A Terrifying Truth / Rebecca Dresser  218
The Lie / Lawrence D. Grouse  222
Discharge Decisions and the Dignity of Risk / Debjani Mukherjee  224
No One Needs to Know / Neil S. Calman  229
Part IV. Death, Dying, and Lives at the Margins
Forty Years of Work on End-of-Life Care: From Patients' Rights to Systemic Reform / Susan M. Wolf, Nancy Berlinger, and Bruce Jennings  239
Try to Remember Some Details / Yehuda Amichai  249
Failing to Thrive? / Kim Sue  251
The Dead Donor Rule and Organ Transplantation / Robert D. Truog and Franklin G. Miller  259
The Darkening Veil of "Do Everything" / Chris Feudtner and Wynne Morrison  263
Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making / Timothy E. Quill  267
Active and Passive Euthanasia / James A. Rachels  273
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  280
My Father's Death / Susan M. Wolf  301
Part V. Allocation and Justice
Glossary: Justice and the Allocation of Health Resources / Rebecca L. Walker and Larry R. Churchill  311
Dead Man Walking / Michael Stillman and Monalisa Tailor  316
Full Disclosure: Out-of-Pocket Costs as Side Effects / Peter A. Ubel, Amy P. Abernethy, and S. Yousuf Zafar  320
Seven Sins of Humanitarian Medicine / David R. Welling, James M. Ryan, David G. Burris, and Norman M. Rich  325
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  335
About the Editors  353
Index  355
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0281-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0173-7
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