FIRST DO NO HARM. . . by Natalee S. Greenfield


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Subtitled ""A Dying Woman's Battle Against the Physicians and Drug Companies Who Misled Her About the Hazards of THE PILL,"" this actually presents two stories: one, the heroic but diffuse attempts of Kathryn, a young woman dying of a particularly virulent form of breast cancer, to alert others to the dangers of The Pill; and the other, the subsequent efforts of her mother to redress the wrongs inflicted on her daughter and continue the warning. Their charge, given credence by a court settlement, is not that her birth-control medication caused the growth but that it changed the nature of a pre-existing benign growth, transforming it into an estrogendependent malignancy that metastasized rapidly. Kathryn's story speaks for itself--consultations with doctors, research at medical libraries, letters to drug companies and government agencies, all pursued despite unrelieved pain, unsuccessful treatments, and early rejection by an insensitive physician-husband. But her admirable (and sometimes exasperating) actions are needlessly embellished with descriptions of her outfits during appearances in court and other trivialities that distract from the central issue. Indiscriminate use of The Pill--its premature advocacy by physicians and drug companies--has been challenged more forcefully before; here the argument suffers from an intrusion of personal experiences which undermine its impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Sun River Press--dist. by Two Continents Publishing Group (30 E. 42 St., N.Y., N.Y. 10017)