MALE PRACTICE: How Doctors Manipulate Women by

MALE PRACTICE: How Doctors Manipulate Women

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A poorly documented, exposÉ-style approach to a serious problem. Mendelsohn (Confessions of a Medical Heretic) has a way of attacking everything in sight, so not all of this is specifically addressed to women (e.g., he believes hypertension is overtreated); but since ""women visit doctors seven times as often as do men,"" they are more likely to encounter mistreatment. Female doctors, according to Mendelsohn, should not be absolved from guilt--they are influenced by the schools they attend and thus come out somewhat in the mold. The ""mold"" includes physicians (obstetrician/gynecologists are the worst offenders) who, because they don't have enough work, make up ""diseases"" to treat (among these is childbirth). Mendelsohn also comments on discrimination within the health care industry, where women are often found doing dangerous work men want to avoid, without being aware of the hazards (e.g., x-ray technicians, female anesthetists, and dialysis technicians). None of this is new, however, or properly documented; and Mendelsohn has some highly questionable ways of interpreting data (as an argument for greater weight gain during pregnancy, he points out that complications are more likely to be experienced by mothers with low-birth-weight babies--but doesn't say how, or if, low birth weight in babies is correlated to low weight gain in mothers). For a better, sex-specific understanding of women's situation, see Diane Scully's Men Who Control Women's Health (1980), Suzanne Arms' Immaculate Deception (1975), and others.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Contemporary Books