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Gentle medicine, revolutionary goals

Mohan Rao

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2019.072


In 1976, the Croatian-Austrian philosopher, historian and Catholic priest, Ivan Illich, later to be defrocked for his radical views, shocked the medical world with his publication Medical nemesis: The expropriation of health. Illich argued that modern medicine was one of the greatest dangers to health, pointing to ever-increasing rates of iatrogenesis, that is, illness, disease or death due to medical treatment. His dire forebodings were prophetic. As Stegenga reveals “a recent study estimated the number of preventable hospital-caused deaths in the United States to be over 400,000 per year (p 180). It is well known that iatrogenesis is one of the ten leading causes of death in the US.

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