With employers offering free flu shots and pharmacies expanding into one-stop shops to prevent everything from shingles to tetanus, vaccines are ubiquitous in contemporary life. The past fifty years have witnessed an enormous upsurge in vaccines and immunization in the United States: American children now receive more vaccines than any previous generation, and laws requiring their immunization against a litany of diseases are standard. Yet, while vaccination rates have soared and cases of preventable infections have plummeted, an increasingly vocal cross section of Americans have questioned the safety and necessity of vaccines. In Vaccine Nation, Elena Conis explores this complicated history and its consequences for personal and public health.
Vaccine Nation opens in the 1960s, when government scientists—triumphant following successes combating polio and smallpox—considered how the country might deploy new vaccines against what they called the “milder” diseases, including measles, mumps, and rubella. In the years that followed, Conis reveals, vaccines fundamentally changed how medical professionals, policy administrators, and ordinary Americans came to perceive the diseases they were designed to prevent. She brings this history up to the present with an insightful look at the past decade’s controversy over the implementation of the Gardasil vaccine for HPV, which sparked extensive debate because of its focus on adolescent girls and young women. Through this and other examples, Conis demonstrates how the acceptance of vaccines and vaccination policies has been as contingent on political and social concerns as on scientific findings.
By setting the complex story of American vaccination within the country’s broader history, Vaccine Nation goes beyond the simple story of the triumph of science over disease and provides a new and perceptive account of the role of politics and social forces in medicine.
Once defiant of death—or even in denial—many American families and health care professionals are embracing the notion that a life consumed by suffering may not be worth living. Sociologist Roi Livne documents the rise and effectiveness of hospice and palliative care, and the growing acceptance that less treatment may be better near the end of life.
How much should citizens invest in promoting health, and how should resources be allocated to cover the costs? A major contribution to economic approaches to the value of health, this volume brings together classic and up-to-date research by economists and public health experts on theories and measurements of health values, providing useful information for shaping public policy.
Variables Related to Human Breast Cancer was first published in 1958.The question of what role, if any, heredity plays in the etiology of human cancer is of obvious importance in the continuing search for an answer to the riddle of cancer. This book describes a study which was conducted at the Dight Institute for Human Genetics of the University of Minnesota, seeking evidence on two aspects of the heredity question. The objectives were, first, to determine whether there is an increased frequency of cancer among relatives of breast cancer patients (over what would be expected by coincidence) and second, to find out whether any family tendency to cancer is general or site-specific.The families of 621 breast cancer patients treated at the Tumor Clinic of the University of Minnesota Hospitals were investigated, with special attention to the choice of original patients and to the completeness of information. For comparison the authors studied the families of husbands of the patients and also analyzed statistics on cancer cases and deaths in the general population.The methods used in the project are described in detail, the data are presented, and the results interpreted. The findings are of value not only in their scientific application but also for use in counseling relatives of breast cancer patients, since these relatives often have greater fear of developing cancer than the facts warrant.
The area between the Great Lakes and Lake Winnipeg, bounded on the north by the Hudson Bay lowlands, is sometimes known as the "Petit Nord." Providing a link between the cities of eastern Canada and the western interior, the Petit Nord was a critical communication and transportation hub for the North American fur trade for over 200 years.Although new diseases had first arrived in the New World in the 16th century, by the end of the 17th century shorter transoceanic travel time meant that a far greater number of diseases survived the journey from Europe and were still able to infect new communities. These acute, directly transmitted infectious diseases – including smallpox, influenza, and measles – would be responsible for a monumental loss of life and would forever transform North American Aboriginal communities.Historical geographer Paul Hackett meticulously traces the diffusion of these diseases from Europe through central Canada to the West. Significant trading gatherings at Sault Ste. Marie, the trade carried throughout the Petit Nord by Hudson Bay Company ships, and the travel nexus at the Red River Settlement, all provided prime breeding ground for the introduction, incubation and transmission of acute disease. Hackettís analysis of evidence in fur-trade journals and oral history, combined with his study of the diffusion behaviour and characteristics of specific diseases, yields a comprehensive picture of where, when, and how the staggering impact of these epidemics was felt.
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry was established in 1875. Its first 100 years were years of evolution in dental education. The decades that followed have been nothing short of transformational. The U-M School of Dentistry has always set a high bar, not afraid to challenge the status quo and not content with the way things have always been done. Always asking, “how can we do this better.” The narrative starts in 1962 with a proposal for a new dental building and concludes, more than 55 years later, with a proposal for a major building renovation. What lies between is a story of vision and possibility for dental education that is unparalleled anywhere.
This book celebrates all that the professional community known as the U-M School of Dentistry has accomplished. Through good times and times of change, it has always been about the people—the drivers, the visionaries, and the innovators—who persisted regardless of the usual obstacles and inertia that often stand in the path of progress in higher education. They elevated the school to a world-class prominence that most definitely exemplifies the university’s history as home to the “leaders and best.”
Over the last decade, infectious disease outbreaks have heightened fears of a catastrophic pandemic passing from animals to humans. From Ebola and bird flu to swine flu and MERS, zoonotic viruses are killing animals and wreaking havoc on the people living near them. Given this clear correlation between animals and viral infection, why are animals largely invisible in social science accounts of pandemics, and why do they remain marginal in critiques of global public health?
In Viral Economies, Natalie Porter draws from long-term research on bird flu in Vietnam to chart the pathways of scientists, NGO workers, state veterinarians, and poultry farmers as they define and address pandemic risks. Porter argues that as global health programs expand their purview to include life and livestock, they weigh the interests of public health against those of commercial agriculture, rural tradition, and scientific innovation. Porter challenges human-centered analyses of pandemics and shows how dynamic and often dangerous human-animal relations take on global significance as poultry and their pathogens travel through global livestock economies and transnational health networks. Viral Economies urges readers to think critically about the ideas, relationships, and practices that produce our everyday commodities, and that shape how we determine the value of life—both human and nonhuman.
Scientists have identified Southern China as a likely epicenter for viral pandemics, a place where new viruses emerge out of intensively farmed landscapes and human-animal interactions. In Virulent Zones, Lyle Fearnley documents the global plans to stop the next influenza pandemic at its source, accompanying virologists and veterinarians as they track lethal viruses to China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake. Revealing how scientific research and expert agency operate outside the laboratory, he shows that the search for origins is less a linear process of discovery than a constant displacement toward new questions about cause and context. As scientists strive to understand the environments from which the influenza virus emerges, the unexpected scale of duck farming systems and unusual practices such as breeding wild geese unsettle research objects, push scientific inquiry in new directions, and throw expert authority into question. Drawing on fieldwork with global health scientists, state-employed veterinarians, and poultry farmers in Beijing and at Poyang Lake, Fearnley situates the production of ecological facts about disease emergence inside the shifting cultural landscapes of agrarian change and the geopolitics of global health.
Michael G. Cordingley Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress QR370.C67 2017 | Dewey Decimal 579.2
While viruses—the world’s most abundant biological entities—are not technically alive, they invade, replicate, and evolve within living cells. Michael Cordingley goes beyond our familiarity with infections to show how viruses spur evolutionary change in their hosts and shape global ecosystems, from ocean photosynthesis to drug-resistant bacteria.
Visual anatomy books have been a staple of medical practice and study since the mid-sixteenth century. But the visual representation of diseased states followed a very different pattern from anatomy, one we are only now beginning to investigate and understand. With Visualizing Disease, Domenico Bertoloni Meli explores key questions in this domain, opening a new field of inquiry based on the analysis of a rich body of arresting and intellectually challenging images reproduced here both in black and white and in color.
Starting in the Renaissance, Bertoloni Meli delves into the wide range of figures involved in the early study and representation of disease, including not just men of medicine, like anatomists, physicians, surgeons, and pathologists, but also draftsmen and engravers. Pathological preparations proved difficult to preserve and represent, and as Bertoloni Meli takes us through a number of different cases from the Renaissance to the mid-nineteenth century, we gain a new understanding of how knowledge of disease, interactions among medical men and artists, and changes in the technologies of preservation and representation of specimens interacted to slowly bring illustration into the medical world.
Homeopathy, as a medical system, presented a significant institutional and economic challenge to conventional medicine in the nineteenth century. Although contemporary critics portrayed homeopathic physicians as part of a sect whose treatment of disease was beyond the pale of acceptable medical practice, homeopathy was in many ways similar to established medicine. Anne Taylor Kirschmann explores the strategic choices and consequences for women practitioners. Not only were female homeopaths respected within their communities, they also enjoyed considerable professional advantages not available to women within regular medicine.
A Vital Force: Women in American Homeopathy offers a new interpretation of women’s roles in modern medicine. Kirschmann strengthens and clarifies the history of homeopathic women physicians and creates a framework of comparison to “regular,” or orthodox, physicians. Women medical practitioners chose homeopathy in dramatic numbers from the mid-nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, although the reasons for this preference varied over time. Linked to social reform movements in the nineteenth century, anti-modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth, and countercultural ideals of the 1960s and 1970s, women's advocacy of homeopathy has been intertwined with broad social and cultural issues in American society.
"Have you taken your vitamins today?" That question echoes daily through American households. Thanks to intensive research in nutrition and medicine, the importance of vitamins to health is undisputed. But millions of Americans believe that the vitamins they get in their food are not enough. Vitamin supplements have become a multibillion-dollar industry. At the same time, many scientists, consumer advocacy groups, and the federal Food and Drug Administration doubt that most people need to take vitamin pills.
Vitamania tells how and why vitamins have become so important to so many Americans. Rima Apple examines the claims and counterclaims of scientists, manufacturers, retailers, politicians, and consumers from the discovery of vitamins in the early twentieth century to the present. She reveals the complicated interests--scientific, professional, financial--that have propelled the vitamin industry and its would-be regulators. From early advertisements linking motherhood and vitamin D, to Linus Pauling's claims for vitamin C, to recent congressional debates about restricting vitamin products, Apple's insightful history shows the ambivalence of Americans toward the authority of science. She also documents how consumers have insisted on their right to make their own decisions about their health and their vitamins.
Vitamania makes fascinating reading for anyone who takes--or refuses to take--vitamins. It will be of special interest to students, scholars, and professionals in public health, the biomedical sciences, history of medicine and science, twentieth-century history, nutrition, marketing, and consumer studies.
This dynamic and richly layered account of mental health in the late twentieth century interweaves three important stories: the rising political prominence of mental health in the United States since 1970; the shifting medical diagnostics of mental health at a time when health activists, advocacy groups, and public figures were all speaking out about the needs and rights of patients; and the concept of voice in literature, film, memoir, journalism, and medical case study that connects the health experiences of individuals to shared stories.
Together, these three dimensions bring into conversation a diverse cast of late-century writers, filmmakers, actors, physicians, politicians, policy-makers, and social critics. In doing so, Martin Halliwell’s Voices of Mental Health breaks new ground in deepening our understanding of the place, politics, and trajectory of mental health from the moon landing to the millennium.
A volume in the Social Science Frontiers series, which are occasional publications reviewing new fields for social science development. These occasional publications seek to summarize recent work being done in particular areas of social research, to review new developments in the field, and to indicate issues needing further investigation. The publications are intended to help orient those concerned with developing current research programs and broadening the use of social science in the policy-making process. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Social Science Frontiers Series
The feminist women’s health movement of the 1960s and 1970s is credited with creating significant changes in the healthcare industry and bringing women’s health issues to public attention. Decades later, women’s health issues are more visible than ever before, but that visibility is made possible by a process of depoliticization
The Vulnerable Empowered Woman assesses the state of women’s healthcare today by analyzing popular media representations—television, print newspapers, websites, advertisements, blogs, and memoirs—in order to understand the ways in which breast cancer, postpartum depression, and cervical cancer are discussed in American public life. From narratives about prophylactic mastectomies to young girls receiving a vaccine for sexually transmitted disease, the representations of women’s health today form a single restrictive identity: the vulnerable empowered woman. This identity defuses feminist notions of collective empowerment and social change by drawing from both postfeminist and neoliberal ideologies. The woman is vulnerable because of her very femininity and is empowered not to change the world, but to choose from among a limited set of medical treatments.
The media’s depiction of the vulnerable empowered woman’s relationship with biomedicine promotes traditional gender roles and affirms women’s unquestioning reliance on medical science for empowerment. The book concludes with a call to repoliticize women’s health through narratives that can help us imagine women—and their relationship to medicine—differently.