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The Patient Paradox Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad for Your Health by Margaret McCartney

The Patient Paradox Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad for Your Health


The Patient Paradox Why Sexed Up Medicine is Bad for Your Health by Margaret McCartney

Welcome to the world of sexed-up medicine, where patients have been turned into customers, and clinics and waiting rooms are jammed with healthy people, lured in to have their blood pressure taken and cholesterol, smear test, bowel or breast screening done. In the world of sexed-up medicine pharmaceutical companies gloss over research they don't like and charities often use dubious science and dodgy PR to 'raise awareness' of their disease, leaving a legacy of misinformation in their wake. Our obsession with screening swallows up the time of NHS staff and the money of healthy people who pay thousands to private companies for tests they don't need. Meanwhile, the truly sick are left to wrestle with disjointed services and confusing options. Explaining the truth behind the screening statistics and investigating the evidence behind the hype, Margaret McCartney, an award-winning writer and doctor, argues that this patient paradox - too much testing of well people and not enough care for the sick - worsens health inequalities and drains professionalism, harming both those who need treatment and those who don't.

About the Author

Margaret McCartney is a GP in Glasgow, and has three children. She started writing for the press after being infuriated by an article in a newspaper which claimed that CT body screening was the way to stay well. Since then she has written for most UK newspapers, as well as the British Medical Journal (BMJ), other magazines such as Vogue and Prospect, has had columns in the Guardian and the FT Weekend, and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Inside Health. She has won prizes from the Medical Journalists' Association and the European School of Oncology, as well as the Healthwatch award. She has a strong interest in evidence, professionalism, screening and risk. She blogs and tweets. The Patient Paradox is her first book.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd February 2012


Margaret McCartney

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Pinter & Martin Ltd.


336 pages


Health systems & services
Public health & preventive medicine



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