November 19, 1997

21st Century Miracle Medicine: RoboSurgery, Wonder Cures, and the Quest for Immortality

Author Affiliations

University of Minnesota Medical School Minneapolis


edited by Alexandra Wyke, 352 pp, with illus, $26.95, ISBN 0-306-45565-X, New York, NY, Plenum Publishing Corp, 1997.

JAMA. 1997;278(19):1627. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550190097056

This book is a guide to the practice of medicine and healing in the next century. The author, Alexandra Wyke, PhD, is a managing editor at The Economist, a British weekly publication comparable to Forbes and Business Weekly. Dr Wyke's degree is in biochemistry, and she has had 20 years' experience reporting on health care matters. By utilizing her contacts in fields of health care and experimental science, she has hypothecated a scenario for the practice of medicine in the future.

Wyke does not have a particularly high opinion of contemporary physicians and medical practice despite her recent delivery of a son "through whom I was recently able to experience firsthand the vagaries of medicine as well as the potential it clearly has to offer." She begins by pointing out that "the doctoring fraternity had become only too accustomed to escaping medical negligence suits on the grounds that