A fierce, honest, elegant and often hilarious debunking of the great fallacies that drive modern medicine. By the award-winning author of The Way We Die Now.
Seamus O'Mahony writes about the illusion of progress, the notion that more and more diseases can be 'conquered' ad infinitum. He punctures the idiocy of consumerism, the idea that healthcare can be endlessly adapted to the wishes of individuals.
He excoriates the claims of Big Science, the spending of vast sums on research follies like the Human Genome Project. And he highlights one of the most dangerous errors of industrialized medicine: an over-reliance on metrics, and a neglect of things that can't easily be measured, like compassion.
'A deeply fascinating and rousing book' Mail on Sunday.
'What makes this book a delightful, if unsettling read, is not just O'Mahony's scholarly and witty prose, but also his brutal honesty' The Times.
Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Medicine
07 Feb 2019 * 336pp * £8.99 * 9781788544535
'A deeply fascinating and rousing book'
Mail on Sunday
'What makes this book a delightful, if unsettling read, is not just O'Mahony's scholarly and witty prose, but also his brutal honesty ... [He] is a wise consultant towards the end of his career telling us what he wished he had known at the beginning'
'An exceptionally strong polemic – one that might even persuade Miley Cyrus to start eating wheat again'
Sunday Business Post
'This systemic perversion of science and its method might the most obvious instance of the corruption O'Mahoney describes, but he casts his net much wider. He also considers, inter alia, the invention of pseudo-diseases, the connivance of the editors of medical journals in increasing the volume of papers, an uncritical deference to the simplifications of statistically-derived knowledge, and the dishonesty of failing to acknowledge the limits of what medicine can reasonably be expected to achieve'
'[A] humane, knowledgeable and scathing book [...] about the dislocation of medical priorities from the basics of human need'
'[A] grounded and readable work ... Very amusing in parts and identifies real problems. Each chapter stands on its own, and the book can be taken up at will, without losing the thread'
'Prof Seamus O'Mahony is highly critical of the medical system, particularly when it comes to spending huge amounts of money on drugs that do little to prolong life'
'A good book challenges the reader, this book certainly challenged me but I feel better for engaging with this plausible and readable criticism of contemporary medicine'
British Journal of General Practice
'A very interesting book ... [O'Mahony] does make some very interesting points about the limits to medicine and the ability of medicine to cure every ailment'
'A book on health that everyone should read this year ... A fascinating read for patients, medics and anyone who cares ... If there is a cure for the travails of our health service, and I remain doubter-in-chief, it must begin with these odorous and painful truths, unearthed and so skilfully dissected out in very readable prose by Professor O'Mahony'
Sunday Independent (Dublin)
Seamus O'Mahony spent many years working for the National Health Service in Britain. He now lives in his native Cork, in the south of Ireland. He is the author of The Way We Die Now, which won a BMA Book Award in 2017, Can Medicine Be Cured? and The Ministry of Bodies.