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Are Doctors Bad For Us?:

Medicine, trust, and power

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Sue Bailey, David Healy, Jeremy Taylor. Isabel Hilton hosts.

Despite the occasional scandal, doctors are widely regarded as principled advocates of good medicine. But is this an act of blind and mistaken faith? Should we transform medicine by seeing medical practice as a vehicle for power, as argued by Foucault? Or could such scepticism be bad for us?

The Panel

CEO of patients' organisation National Voices Jeremy Taylor, practicing consultant and President of the Royal College of Psychiatry Sue Bailey, and outspoken head of Data Based Medicine Ltd. and Pharmageddon author David Healy question medical authority.

In association with NESTA.


My Journey
Lauren Booth
The World in Our Hands
Jonathan Derbyshire, Polly Higgins, Nigel Lawson, Bjorn Lomborg, Crispin Tickell
Jump to what you want to see in the debate
  • Jeremy Taylor
    The Pitch
    Doctors have vested interests so greater patient involvement is vital
  • Sue Bailey
    The Pitch
    Benign paternalism is the most desirable form of healthcare
  • David Healy
    The Pitch
    People should take greater control over their healthcare
  • The Debate
    Theme One
    The medical establishment
  • The Debate
    Theme Two
    Is medical authority legitimate?
  • The Debate
    Theme Three
    Democratising medicine
Join the conversation

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Kathy McMahon on 26/11/2013 3:57pm

How about Doctors, in all fields of medicine, give patients a choice - drugs OR nutrition? And of course it would be great if patients did not regard doctors as quacks when they (the patient) leave a surgery without a prescription.

As someone who has researched into nutrition, the effects of gluten, dairy, sugar and lectins on the physical and psychological body, it is my opinion that a holistic approach is the way forward. It's not just down to doctors, it's down to the general population to educate themselves in relation to their holistic health for long term wellbeing.

"Quick fixes" are not the answer.

In relation to privatization it seems that with so many "sick" people around the world it's a money making business.

Catherine Moore on 22/11/2013 5:12pm

Interesting debate. Patients are justifiably worried about the state of the NHS and the near SILENCE that comes from the medical profession about this issue. Privatisation will help some aspects of the NHS and damage others. Patients are loosing trust in general but gaining self-reliance. Doctors are loosing some of the trust they used to have but gaining a degree of humility in the process... so, it's not all bad news.

TSituation on 22/11/2013 12:11pm

The privatisation of the NHS is already well underway. How can we possibly avoid the conflicts of interests and malelovent influence of big pharma if corporate players driven by profit are in control of our welfare? Sue is right to blame successive governments for failing to act on recomendations from real experts, and to plead for greater public involvement. Why is the public letting this happen?

darkenz on 21/11/2013 5:49pm

The calls from the panelists for a more transparent and personal medical establishment could be met from the privatisation of our national health service. The continuing prejudice the British public have against a more efficient business model solution astounds me.

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