By Nancy Tomes
In a piece that spans the 20th century, Nancy Tomes questions the popular--and mostly unexamined--idea that during order to get strong wellbeing and fitness care, humans needs to discover ways to store for it. Remaking the yankee sufferer explores the results of the patron financial system and American drugs having come of age at the exact same time. Tracing the powerful improvement of advertisements, advertising, and public relatives in the scientific career and the big realm we now consider as "health care," Tomes considers what it potential to be a "good" sufferer. As she indicates, this background of the coevolution of drugs and patron tradition tells us a lot approximately our present drawback over health and wellbeing care within the usa. figuring out the place the procuring version got here from, why it used to be see you later resisted in medication, and why it eventually triumphed within the overdue 20th century is helping clarify why, regardless of awesome adjustments that appear to empower sufferers, such a lot of american citizens stay unsatisfied and harassed approximately their prestige as sufferers this present day.
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Additional info for Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers
19 Finally, in exploring the history of the patient as watchdog, I have remained acutely aware of the story’s relevance to present-day controversies. Questions about how much market thinking should be encouraged in American medicine and how much protection and guidance patient-consumers need in making medical choices are central to the highly polarized and partisan debate currently raging in the United States. The book’s conclusion lays out some historical insights that might be useful to today’s patients, physicians, and patient advocates.
The post–World War II perception of a transition from a “class society” where only a few enjoyed the best medical care to a “mass society” where all Americans had access to lifesaving goods lent the ideals of medical consumerism new force. Many Americans wanted to believe what Miriam Bredow wrote in her 1943 handbook for medical secretaries: “In a doctor’s office people are perhaps more nearly equal than anywhere else in the world. ”13 In the 1960s, this aspiration to medical democracy opened up opportunities for groups outside the new middle classes, most notably in the labor and civil rights movements, to lodge their own complaints about the inequities of the health care system.
17 Departures from the traditional rule of caveat emptor likewise applied to the sale of potentially dangerous drugs. Dating back to medieval times, the handling of substances that could kill or maim humans and animals had been subject to special care. Even with the legal embrace of free trade, special precautions continued to govern the sale of poisons, especially after several high-profile murders were committed using arsenic and other poisons freely available from grocers and druggists. After the British Parliament passed the 1851 Arsenic Act to regulate its sale, many American states followed suit, passing statutes instituting special precautions for the sale of poisons.