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The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America: Philosophical, Cultural, and Social Considerations

“The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America is a sobering book to read. It confirms and documents the widespread dysfunction in medicine. However, it also provides us with tools for understanding the problem and concrete suggestions for reviving ethics of respect and responsibility in the clinical encounter.”

— The Pharos, the magazine of the medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha


“The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America is a thoughtful, informative book by an experienced clinician, educator, and ethicist. It introduces a broad view of a complex system about which we may have had simplistic opinions. This is primarily an American story, but similar changes are afoot in Canada and elsewhere.”

— Canadian Journal of General Internal Medicine

“Consumerism, computerization, and corporatization' dominate health care in the 21st century, for both practitioners and patients. These trends have changed the landscape of medicine, increased the speed at which new technology is incorporated into standard practice, and transformed the ethos of medicine today. Eiser examines these changes using observations from philosophers such as Lyotard, Bauman, Foucault, and others . . . Though the title suggests a discussion of the current health care system in the US, Eiser also presents studies and references from abroad in a comparative context. Each chapter has extensive endnotes; a six-page bibliography at the end is organized by topic. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”


“The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America: Philosophical, Cultural, and Social Considerations could hardly have arrived at a more propitious time. As medicine becomes less a profession and more a business in the United States and elsewhere, there is a huge need to revisit the ethic of the doctor-patient relationship. . . .Dr. Arnold R. Eiser’s book takes a long, informed, serious, and useful look at this pressing ethical question.”

—Arthur L. Caplan, NYU Langone Medical Center

“The Ethos of Medicine is a book you should read if you care about the future of medical care in the United States.”

— Edward J. Huth, Editor Emeritus, Annals of Internal Medicine

“This book is a warning that needs to be paid close attention by all of us worried about our societal future.”

— Zygmunt Bauman, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Universities of Leeds and Warsaw