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A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era (February 18, 2009)

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Uploaded on Feb 20, 2009

Robert L. Martensen, M.D., Ph.D. (Director, Office of History, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland; Lecturer, Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; and Adviser, American College of Surgeons and Cunniff-Dixon Foundation on Palliative Care Education for Physicians) addressed the reasons for writing his book entitled, "A Life Worth Living: A Doctor's Reflections on Illness in a High-Tech Era." Dr. Martenson covered aspects of change and continuity in the practice and delivery of medical care in the United States. Specifically he discussed the elements of specialization, affluence, commercial values in medicine, the effects of medicare, the need for effectiveness research," the prevalence of "corrupted speech," and changes in the "social contract" of medicine. He concluded with questioning what it means to "live with a disease," to "have interventions administered," and to trust information regarding treatment options and ethical judgements/advice.

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