Limits to medicine. Medical nemesis: the expropriation of health Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of. PDF | An abbreviated version of this review has been published in the BMJ *. The closest I ever came to a religious experience was listening to Ivan Illich. Buy Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis – The Expropriation of Health (Open Forum S.) New edition by Ivan Illich (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book.

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Modern medicine can take almost no credit for increases in life expectancy in the fxpropriation years, it was sanitation, underwear, and better food, etc. He was trained as a medieval historian and philosopher, and taught the history of friendship and the history of the art of suffering. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Big is not better, in fact, it’s harmful.

Illich deserves to be read by every generation as he remains relevant. So for the health care system, the focus on industrial output of new treatment creates a dependence on hospitals and medicines and insurance that prevent citizens from understanding their own power for self-care, so that in the end we end up dumping ever more resources into a system that in fact is now harming, rather than helping, health.

My office at Loyola sponsored Illich to speak to our pre-med students on which occasion I was introduced to him.

Limits to Medicine–Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health

Sep 16, Chrisl rated it really liked it Shelves: Summary In this book, Ivan Illich offers a harsh critique of health care as provided in western industrialized societies during the s. In this book he challenges the deepest assumptions behind capitalist Ilych can easily be dismissed as a radical, a curmudgeon, or a expropriatioj by people who don’t want to hear his sharp and penetrating critiques of two core social institutions–medicine and education.


The profit motive becomes so pervasive that even when it’s done not for profit, it’s hard to retrieve the ground-level conviction that communities of people need to care for themselves and each other, that that care giving is not something to be consigned to exprppriation professionals, and that a good bit of what passes for standard care is nemsis by pharmaceutical and insuance companies.

I recall Susan Sontag medicie him for personal hypocrisy, having accepted advanced medicine facing cancer, but, well, what would you do!? Dec 31, Barbara Ab rated it it was amazing. Oct 12, Jonathan Hockey rated it it was amazing. I can’t believe this is kedicine 40 years old. As a society we think we’re all so clever and that we’re living in post-industrial, post-modern times but really we haven’t grown up much at all.

Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. We or our health growing better without the medicine institutes contribution. More is not better, but harmful in this case. Having worked in the health industry in public and private settings, I couldn’t help but see the glaring problems in the system.

In this radical contribution to social thinking Illich decimates the myth of the magic of the medical profession.


Mar 09, Chris rated it it was amazing Shelves: Medical Nemesis is the negative feedback of a social organization that set out to improve and equalize the opportunity for each man to cope in autonomy and ended by destroying it.

Limits to medicine. Medical nemesis: the expropriation of health

Want to Read saving…. These are salutory enterprises. Something we have certainly learned in the last years.

But unllike Prometheus, we are all suffering from the ever-lasting punishment of our medical hubris. But who defines what healthcare is, or what goal it should work towards? Nothing has changed in 30 years. Illich said virtually everything about today’s health care “crisis. Thus, in social iatrogenesis, the social arrangements of health care are the pathogens.

However, my eyes being poor, I read only some of them and those with difficulty. There is no doubt limigs self care is the best care and the expropdiation institution robs us of that. Healthcare is a ‘right’ and we should get as much of it as we want the second we want it.

It designates the ability to adapt to changing environments, to growing up and to aging, to healing when damaged, to suffering and to peaceful expectation of death.