This is the first book that analyzes and systematizes all the general ideas of medicine, in particular the philosophical ones, which are usually tacit. The aims of this book are to ferret out, investigate, and inter-relate the most general concepts and assumptions involved in medical research and practice. Most of these ideas are regularly discussed, in intuitive and unsystematic terms, in the most popular medical journals, such as the N Engl J Med, Lancet, BMJ, Arch Int Med, and JAMA.
Instead of focusing on one or two points — typically disease and clinical trial — as the vast majority of philosophers do, this book examines all the salient aspects of biomedical research and practice: the nature of disease, the logic of diagnosis, the discovery and design of drugs, the design of lab and clinical trials, the crafting of therapies and design of protocols, the moral duties and rights of physicians and patients, the distinctive features of scientific medicine and of medical quackery, the unique combination of basic and translational research, the place of physicians and nurses in society, the task of medical sociology, and the need for universal medical coverage. Health care workers, medicine buffs, and philosophers will find this thought-provoking book highly useful in their line of work and research.