Nov 062018
 

Her detailed analysis of popular beliefs and behaviours reveals the compelling logic of personal decisions about health and healing. Experience and expectation, not fear and ignorance, shaped the health care choices of both cancer sufferers and the “healthy” public. A close examination of three unconventional practitioners in Ontario demonstrates the importance and vitality of alternative medicine. By presenting treatment options that were congenial and plausible to cancer sufferers, these healers contested the authority of conventional medicine. An investigation of government cancer care policy, particularly the activities of Ontario’s Commission for the Investigation of Cancer Remedies, exposes the difficulties of defining legitimate health care and the limits of state support for the medical profession. This is, ultimately, a book about who held power in medical encounters in the past. With masterful assurance and a highly readable style, Clow portrays the disputes between sufferers and healers, practitioners and politicians, and legislators and laity that coloured perceptions of medical authority and constrained the power of the profession.
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