The history that I have told in the second half of this class focuses on issues of medical power and responsibility. From the industrial roots of the pharmaceutical industry, through imperialism, medicalization, war, human experimentation, and the AIDS epidemic, twentieth century medicine has grappled with some of the most difficult political and ethical issues of the turbulent century just passed. Please write an essay summarizing the main events of twentieth-century medicine, using the same triad of textbook, lecture notes and primary sources
Required primary sources:
- H. Van de Velde (1930) Ideal Marriage: its physiology and technique. New York: Random House, pp. 10-19.
This text, and sexology in general, exemplifies ‘medicalization’ — the expansion of a medical approach to encompass aspects of ordinary life.
- Vannevar Bush (1960 ) Science, the Endless Frontier: a report to the President on a program for postwar scientific research. Washington D.C., National Science Foundation. This is his appeal for the government to fund a ‘War on Disease’ and expresses the therapeutic optimism of the penicillin period. Please read pp. 10-16
- Ivan Illich (1976) Medical Nemesis, the Expropriation of Health. New York: Pantheon Books, Introduction and first chapter.
One of the most passionate diatribes ever written against modern medicine.
- Porter, Roy. 1997. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: a medical history of humanity. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.