The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America

Stephen Barrett, William T. Jarvis
Prometheus Books, 1993 - 526 pages
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While medical science has never had more to offer, many people are turning to "alternatives" such as chiropractic, homeopathy, "organic" foods, vitamin supplements, herbs, chelation therapy, and occult "healers." Millions of Americans who are unenlightened, seriously ill, or desperate have fallen into the clutches of TV promoters, nutrition hustlers, or other con artists whose offerings are ineffective or dangerous - and sometimes lethal. But quackery is not confined to individuals who fit the popular image of a quack. Significant numbers of well-trained physicians have strayed from science into "fad diagnoses" and unproven treatments that lack a rational basis.
The Health Robbers, featuring more than twenty highly respected authorities, explains the dangers of quack medicine, "alternative" cancer remedies, health fads, and "miracle diets." It argues for stronger laws and more vigorous policing of the marketplace. And it answers such questions as: "Are 'organic' foods worth their extra cost?" "Can acupuncture cure anything?" "Will vitamin B[subscript 12] shots pep me up?" "Can diet cure arthritis?" "Will spinal adjustments help my health?" "Will amino acids 'pump up' my muscles?" "Where can reliable information be obtained?" and "What's the best way to get good medical care?"
Even if the answers to some of these questions seem obvious, the details in this volume, written in an informative, highly readable, and easy-to-understand style, will astound you. Quackery often leads to harm because it turns ill people away from legitimate and trusted therapeutic procedures. However, its heaviest toll is in financial loss not only to those who pay directly, but to everyone who pays for bogus treatments through taxes, insurance premiums, and other ways that are less obvious.
Chapter titles include: "The Food Fear Epidemic" ("Beware of chemical con men"), "The Overselling of Herbs" ("More hype than help"), "Quackery and the Media" ("Should we believe what we see and hear?"), "The Holistic Hodgepodge," "Dubious Dental Care," and "How Quackery Sells."

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Table des matières

Nonsense with Needles
Vitamin Pushers and Food Quacks
The MakeBelieve Doctors
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