The Weekend Read – Can Medicine Be Cured? by Seamus O’Mahony

Can Medicine Be Cured? : The Corruption of a Profession

I have an instinctive leaning towards any O’Mahony from Cork because my maternal grandmother, Catherine O’Mahony, was Cork born and bred. Stories of, and meetings with, members of the extended O’Mahony family have been some of the highlights of my life. 

This book examines modern medicine through the lens of an experienced physician, researcher and sceptic. This last is defined as, “a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions”, and shouldn’t we all, even we idealists, be doubters and questioners?

Dr. O’Mahony writes beautifully, his arguments are clear, concise and well supported. I am a retired clinician but  still very active in what I consider to be still a field of medicine, although I occasionally have my doubts. It was refreshing to able to read what at first appears to be bad news, especially as I get older, that I am not going to live forever and modern medicine will not sustain me into a glorious old age where magical medical interventions will carry me through the vicissitudes of my decline to a point of rapturous departure.

My suspicions are that like every generation before me I will become gradually, possibly embarrassingly, infirm and medicine will do little to reverse that decline. 

One of the author’s conclusions are laid down in the epilogue, “The medical industrial complex is not some vast, organised sentient conspiracy; it is as fallible, messy and irrational as the people who created it. It has become so powerful, however, that medicine has passed the *Illichian tipping point where it is doing more harm than good to the people it is supposed to serve. There are two simple questions to ask of any new development, treatment or paradigm in medicine: first, who benefits? Cui bono? And second does it make life any sweeter? Ask these questions of genomics, digital health and awareness campaigns and the answers are obvious.


My thanks to reestheskin, whose review goes into far greater depth than my superficial skim,  for his recommendation of this excellent book. Fine picture from ReesAcres on his web page too.

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Published by Alun Rees

Dental Business Coach. Analyst. Troubleshooter. Consultant. Writer. Presenter. Broadcaster.

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