Saving the Heart: The Battle to Conquer Coronary Disease

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Medical - 272 pages
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Though still the leading cause of death, coronary heart disease is now killing half as many people in the U.S. as in the 1960s, partly because of innovative treatments like bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty, and thrombolytic drugs. This book tells the stories of the bold researchers who developed such treatments and explores the tough ethical questions raised by the big money being made in modern cardiology.
Klaidman shows how clinicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs have devised radically new ways to treat a diseased heart. He examines the startling extent to which financial ambition has shaped the dynamics of cardiology--now a multi-billion dollar medical/academic/industrial/governmental hybrid--and the inevitable conflicts of interest such ambition creates. Can a patient's needs come first when market share and profits skew the focus away from medical prudence? Can clinical trials be both free of bias and fast enough to keep up with the flood of new drugs and high-tech devices? Klaidman tackles these questions using real cases, often in the context of wrenching bedside decisions.
Immensely readable and packed with vivid detail, Saving the Heart explores the past, present and swiftly developing future of a high-stakes medical specialty. And it weaves into the fast moving narrative advice on how to make the right treatment choices and identify the best cardiologists and surgeons. If you are one of the 14 million Americans who suffers from coronary disease, Saving the Heart could save your life.

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Contents

The Revolution of 1912
10
Creating the Platform
22
Groping in the Dark
42
Copyright

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About the author (2000)


Stephen Klaidman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. He is the author of Health in the Headlines and The Virtuous Journalist (both OUP). He lives in Washington, D.C.

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