Ordinary Medicine : Extraordinary Treatments Essay

1108 Words5 Pages
Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives and Where to Draw the Line

Book Review

Kaufman, S. R. (2015). Ordinary medicine: Extraordinary treatments, longer lives, and where to draw the line [Electronic].

Ili Yang
The University of British Columbia
11/12/2016

Written about the structure and culture of biomedical heath care and a society that is attempting to prolong aging, Medicare funding, funding and development of research, and today’s definition of standard care, Sharon Kaufman brings to light the many dilemmas posed to the American health care system. Her ethnographic story, Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives and Where to Draw the Line reveals the booming biomedical research and clinical trials industry, the power held by Medicare and private insurance, and a rapidly changing standard of care once a medical treatment is considered reimbursable. This leads to systematic changes in the standard of care result in a massive amount of pressure being placed upon doctors, patients and families to make an ethically and medically sound decision in refusing or accepting therapy. Kaufman exposes the driving forces behind the expansion of biomedicine, society’s response to the growing industry on a personal and bureaucratic level. Though it is common knowledge that pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and biomedicine are all interconnected, Ordinary Medicine gives insight to the degree of power
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