Cover image for Follies & fallacies in medicine
Follies & fallacies in medicine
Skrabanek, P. (Petr)
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1990.
Physical Description:
146 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
R729.9 .S57 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The progress of science and the growth of knowledge, claim the authors, depend upon challenging accepted dogma and belief. Their purpose in this book is not to criticize medicine or those who practice it but to advocate the need for criticism in medicine. Doctors, they claim, can discover new ways and improve old ways to ease the human journey from cradle to grave--through rational inquiry, honest admission of ignorance, and by demystifying rituals. No index. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this succinct, balanced critical appraisal of contemporary medical theory and practice, Dublin-based oncologist Skrabanek and McCormick, president of the Irish College of General Practitioners, expose both the medical establishment's rigid dogmas and the premises of alternative healing's adherence to largely unproven preventive measures and panaceas. Neither school of thought, the authors claim, takes seriously enough nature's healing powers or the important role played in disease prevention by living conditions and behavior. They also challenge the value of what they consider the ethically questionable, even harmful effects of screening tests such as mammography--which, they claim, are often responsible for flawed diagnoses. A concluding chapter draws distinctions between medicine's moral commitment and the essential amorality of science. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Skrabanek, a Dublin endocrine oncologist, and McCormick, president of the Irish College of General Practitioners, have written ``an ordinary person's guide to the limitations of medicine.'' Examples of medical follies and fallacies included derive from their teaching of ``critical appraisal'' to students, in which they advocate the need to examine the nature of error within the medical sciences. Erroneous reasoning, fallacious arguments, misconceptions, and faulty logic are explored concerning: placebos, logic and statistics, diagnosis and labeling, preventative medicine, alternative medicine, and aspects of the sociology and morality of medical practice. This is a witty and informative guide that will assist both lay and professional readers to better interpret medical data, practice, and procedures. Recommended.-- James Swanton, Albert Ein stein Coll. of Medicine Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.