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The Dark Side of Technology$
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Peter Townsend

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

Medicine—Expectations and Reality

Medicine—Expectations and Reality

Chapter:
(p.133) 8 Medicine—Expectations and Reality
Source:
The Dark Side of Technology
Author(s):

Peter Townsend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.003.0008

Medicine is concerned with people, who all respond differently. So drugs and treatments that are good for some may be bad for others. This is not always recognized, and the public can be further confused by different ‘expert’ opinions. Medicine is a highly profitable major business, so marketing distorts the true performance of many products. The chapter emphasizes that self-control and responsibility for health is not emphasized enough, and the immense costs of obesity and smoking, or drug-related activities could be greatly reduced by better education. Some success stories are included. Further examples are linked to a failure to understand statistics, the fact that many more diseases can be diagnosed than actually benefit from treatment, and that medical examinations (such as X-ray screening) induce cancers in a few per cent of patients (i.e. an unexpected dark side).

Keywords:   drugs, medical opinion, marketing, statistics, diagnostic

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