Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives, and Where to Draw the Line
Sharon R. Kaufman is Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of …And a Time to Die: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life.
Introduction: Diagnosing Twenty-First-Century Health Care
The phrase ordinary medicine reflects the hidden chain of health care drivers among science, politics, industry, insurance, and ethics that organizes and drives our health care system. The chain and the ethical field that supports it are the mechanisms by which treatment standards become social standards. Ordinary medicine shapes our most personal experiences of growing older and ultimately undermines medicine’s ability to function as a social good.