By Sally Satel, M.D.
Basic Books, (October 2001)
“Most impressive. Satel explodes myths that are hindering research funding and preventing Americans from getting the quality of care they deserve. Satel is helping steer medicine back to the goal of serving the patient’s needs and restoring health through science. PC, M.D. is essential reading for healthcare consumers.”
—ELIZABETH WHELAN, Ph.D., MPH, President, American Council on Science and Health
“While the nation has been preoccupied with headline-grabbing subjects like HMO’s, Medicare, and the millions of uninsured Americans—all pressing issues indeed—tbe ‘indoctrinologists’ have swooped in under the radar. And their prescriptions—which ultimately are not about health, but rather about narrow ideas of social justice—will be hazardous to our health.”
This is Sally Satel’s opening salvo in her brilliantly waged war against the forces of political correctness. Drawing on a wealth of information, much of it never revealed before, PC, M.D. documents for the first time what happens when the tenets of political correctness—including victimology, multiculturalism and the rejection of fixed truths and individual autonomy—are allowed to enter the fortress of medicine. Consider these examples:
- A professor at the Harvard School of Public Health teaches her students that racial discrimination causes high blood pressure among blacks—an unsubstantiated and dangerous “truth.”
- Former psychiatric patients, calling themselves “consumer-survivors,” condemn the health care system for violating their human rights. They are on a crusade to “limit the powers of psychiatry by making consumers full partners in diagnosis and treatment.”
- Nurses charge that they are so oppressed by the male-dominated medical system that they can’t give their patients optimal care.
The consequences of putting politics before health are far-reaching, argues Satel. It wastes taxpayer money on bogus research and diverts resources that could be used to discover authentic causes of suffering, provide proven therapies, and rigorously investigate new ones. PC, M.D. is a powerful wake-up call to the medical profession and to patients, who are the ultimate victims of these disturbing trends.