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July 10, 1996

The Doctor's Case Against the Pill

Author Affiliations

Stanford University Stanford, Calif

JAMA. 1996;276(2):165-166. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540020087040

This is a strange book and not particularly recommended. It represents a 25th anniversary republication, introduced by a new foreword and eight pages on "The Story Behind This Book." An editor's note indicates that "the text on pages 9-211 comprises the entire original edition of The Doctor's Case Against the Pill, first published in 1969." One would hope to find an illuminating update in "The Pill at 35" (pages 212-238) and "Norplant, the Contraceptive You're Stuck With" (pages 239-252).

To be quite fair, one must read the original edition in the light of its times, the 1960s: the dosages of hormones in oral contraceptives were high, and the oral contraceptives had been widely used for only five to ten years. Ms Seaman had taken a strong view that problems with the pill were being ignored. (I found it odd that the first page of the original edition, "A Public Scandal