Nature, the Physician, and the Family: Selected Writings of Herbert Ratner, M. D.
Its lead article is the perceptive interview on Medicine with Donald McDonald from the American Character Series, in which medicine is defined as the art of doing for nature what nature would like to do for herself if she could. First published in 1962 it was quoted extensively in the media, sold out within months, and is still applicable today. The spoken word is Herbert Ratner's forte, not only in interviews, but as teacher, lecturer, and leader of lively discussions. And his writing captures the best of his speaking. In this book we have: . Hippocrates and his Oath validated anew for modern times, . Luke the Physician, . Plato on informed consent, . numerous insights from Aristotle, . an analysis of what constitutes normal, . a call for family physicians, . a medical critique of oral contraceptives, . innovative approaches to both AIDS and semen, and . a blow by blow account of the early Salk vaccine program which inadvertently introduced SV40 into the human population. One might say Herbert Ratner's favorite book is the Book of Nature, which he reads so well in defense of the traditional family, natural childbirth, and breast-feeding. And from Nature he gives us a renewed appreciation of human sexuality.
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This is a most wonderful compilation from a talented writer and man of great integrity and reason. Dr Ratner was a courageously dissenting voice regarding the Salk vaccine and the corruption that underlied the NFIP, the USPHS that upheld a dangerous vaccine that damaged the public long after the Cutter incident. Dr Ratner was a doctor who believed in the wisdom of Nature and that doctors were custodians of that nature, not manipulators of it. He foresaw the future as government and medical policy would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, and turn the honorable profession of doctoring into a glorified technician's job. He was a man ahead of his time, perhaps that is why so few heeded his words. A most interesting read for all.