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Patricia Casey: 'Long-overdue analysis of modern medicine highlights our focus on the well over the ill'

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Concerns: Author and consultant Dr Seamus O’Mahony at Cork University Hospital. He published ‘Can Medicine be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession’ four weeks ago. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Concerns: Author and consultant Dr Seamus O’Mahony at Cork University Hospital. He published ‘Can Medicine be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession’ four weeks ago. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Concerns: Author and consultant Dr Seamus O’Mahony at Cork University Hospital. He published ‘Can Medicine be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession’ four weeks ago. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Our health service is in a ruinous state although it is the most expensive, per capita, in Europe. The book by Seamus O'Mahony, a Cork-based gastroenterologist, published four weeks ago 'Can Medicine be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession' is timely. There has been little analysis of where medicine is going, apart from that carried out by journalists, usually focussed on this or that scandal.

In 1974 the iconic critique of modern medicine 'Medical Nemesis', by Ivan Illich, was published. I wasn't even a doctor then but every wannabe medic embraced its message, at least when talking with their friends. The book itself drew on Illich's left-lean position to argue that the state of medicine at the time impinged upon humanity's ability to heal itself of disease.


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