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Books, Journals, New Media
September 16, 1998

Medical HarmMedical Harm: Historical, Conceptual, and Ethical Dimensions of Iatrogenic Illness

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998American Medical Association


by Virginia A. Sharpe and Alan I. Faden, 280 pp, with illus, $69.95, ISBN 0-521-57133-2, paper, $27.95, ISBN 0-521-63490-3, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

JAMA. 1998;280(11):1025. doi:10.1001/jama.280.11.1025-JBK0916-6-1

While the title Medical Harm may suggest yet another litany of egregious errors committed by incompetent doctors, nothing could be farther from the truth. Virginia Sharpe and Alan Faden provide a sweeping overview of the broad spectrum of harm, including not only harm due to errors or complications of treatment, but also the harm experienced by patients who fail to get appropriate care because of poor medical judgment or improper coverage decisions, as well as the harm that comes from the failure of doctors to put the patients' values ahead of their own. In systematic fashion, the authors examine the historical, philosophical, and moral underpinnings of the changing role of the physician over the past two centuries.

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