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October 8, 1982

The Unmasking of Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Health Science Center Houston

JAMA. 1982;248(14):1759-1760. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330140067040

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The scope of this book is large—to clarify the role of medical technology in shaping the lives of patients and physicians, and the values of medicine; to compare the effects of bedside-based medicine and social and public health measures in bringing health and restraining illness; to discuss the problems physicians and patients have in attempting to share power and decide on actions in the therapeutic relationship. Analysis of these matters is urgent. The rapid pace of biomedical innovation creates an enlarging set of problems for medicine and society concerning the choice of the values, laws, and institutional structures to be used in reaching judgments.

Ian Kennedy, the author, is an attorney and director of a center in England concerned with matters of medicine, law, and ethics. This book is based on a group of talks given over the BBC in 1980 (the Reith Lectures). The author is concerned that physicians