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Health books are supposed to make it easier, not more difficult, to use health services. Although there are hundreds of books on the marketplace, many of them contain information that is complicated and superfluous at a time when we are already overwhelmed with data about virtually every aspect of our lives. It can be hard to digest these tomes when you are ill, which is when most people decide they want to become more educated about their health.

We searched for books that distill the complexities of health care, conventional and alternative, into the simplest possible terms. Health information doesn’t need to be complex in order for it to be effective. In fact, just the opposite is true. If you can get the essentials without the extraneous, the meat without the fat so to speak, health information is easier to digest and assimilate, allowing you to more readily apply it to your everyday life. Also included in our list are a few titles that present thought-provoking viewpoints about medical science and our health care system.

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Please note that titles not in print or available online can still be purchased from other sources, and any monies generated from book sales on this website are used to defray production and hosting costs.

General Health Care
Is Your Health Care Killing You? 12 Ways to Survive Our Fractured Health Care System by Colleen C. Badell, Ph.D.
Our health care is killing us – literally and figuratively – with an out-of-control bureaucracy, massive inefficiency, thousands of preventable medical errors, an unabated profit motive, and our own complacency. It seems as though it will only get worse before it gets better. We must become better consumers, not only to enhance the benefits of medicine but also to avoid harm from those who regulate it and those who administer it. Is Your Health Care Killing You? presents an easy-to-follow plan that addresses the use of both conventional and alternative medicine and is designed for the person who wants to assume a more active role in health care – whether you are a care-giver or a care-receiver. It is an essential tool for anyone who wants to survive the system rather than be victimized by it and get the most from any medicine. (Publisher)
Alternative Medicine
6 Myths about Alternative Medicine: Using It Wisely by Colleen C. Badell, Ph.D.
Alternative medicine is either revered or reviled depending upon whom you talk to, but neither attitude is justified. 6 Myths About Alternative Medicine tells it like it is about our use and misuse of this medicine – topics still taboo in most New Age circles – but it does so within a framework that supports its responsible use. Candid and uncensored, it dares to debunk the most commonly-held beliefs about alternative medicine and, in doing so, raises questions about how we view our health and approach any medicine. While raising important questions, 6 Myths also offers helpful suggestions on maximizing the benefits of alternative treatments and therapies. Included in this list are the Top Ten New Age Busters, a unique approach to finding the best alternative practices and practitioners. 6 Myths presents a revolutionary approach to medicine whose time has arrived and whose ideas will be discussed for generations to come. (Publisher)
A Simple Plan: Alternative Medicine Made Very Easy by Colleen C. Badell, Ph.D.
The first no-nonsense approach to alternative medicine, A Simple Plan offers immediate access to this increasingly popular medicine. It is the guide no consumer can do without – whether you are a beginner and are confused by all of the options in the marketplace and their often conflicting messages – or you are experienced in using alternative medicine and merely want to increase its benefits. Presented in a user-friendly format, A Simple Plan provides a unique six-step formula for using alternative medicine that covers all facets of health and wellness. It also takes on issues normally excluded from most discussions about health care – alternative or conventional – including environmental balance, psychotherapy, surgery, and preparation for death. It is simply the only guide you need to use alternative medicine safely, responsibly, and effectively. (Publisher)
Health Insurance & Managed Care
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Managed Health Care by Sophie M. Krczyk & Hazel A. Witte
Managed health care is one of the most confusing areas any consumer can deal with. Rules and regulations are constantly changing, providers are always merging and changing their offerings, and paperwork abounds. In easy-to-understand language, this book explains how to understand options, how to get treatment for chronic and long-term illnesses, how to get the most care for the least cost, and more. (Ingram)
Making Them Pay: How to Get the Most from Health Insurance and Managed Care by Rhonda D. Orin
In this consumer guide to health insurance and managed care programs, lawyer Orin has assembled a compact reference that explains how to read and understand a health plan and how to go toe to toe with insurance companies to get the benefits to which we are entitled. The author outlines the components of typical plans the services covered and the limits and exclusions insurance companies and managed care systems may apply to deny coverage...Orin emphasizes record keeping and shows readers how to deal with customers service representatives to make sure the problem or complaint is documented...This book simplifies a convoluted subject and is recommended for most public libraries. (Library Journal)
Health Insurance (Made E-Z) by Silver Lake
Silver Lake Publishing provides online courses for the insurance profession. This book by the Silver Lake Editors assists consumers in purchasing health insurance that is right for them at the best price. This how-to guide includes inside tips about evaluating your health insurance needs and about the complicated selection process in an era of managed care.
Patient's Rights
The Rights of Patients: The Authoritative ACLU Guide to the Rights of Patients by George J. Annas
Now in its third edition, The Rights of Patients has long been considered the definitive guide to understanding the legal and ethical issues patients face in our fragmented health care system. Offering fully documented exposition and explanation of the rights of patients from birth to death, this concise reference covers topics such as informed consent, emergency treatment, refusing treatment, human experimentation, privacy and confidentiality, patient safety and medical practice. George J. Annas’s full revised and updated version also offers specific advice to individuals on serving as patient advocates for friends and family members and focuses on helping patients and their advocates protect their human rights and preserve their independence and dignity when undergoing medical care. (Publisher)
(Please also note The ABA Complete and Easy Guide to Health Care Law, published 2001.)
Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans by Rosemary Gibson & Janardan Prasad Singh
Medical mistakes are occurring with alarming frequency in this country. Nightly newscasts and daily newspapers tell of botched surgeries, mistaken patient identities, careless overdoses, and neglected diagnoses. You may have dismissed these stories as unfortunate mistakes, misunderstandings, or just isolated incidents with the occasional bad doctor. Wall of Silence reveals that these medical mistakes are not rare incidents. In fact, the real life stories in this book show that medical mistakes are increasing in frequency and worse, that the system is designed more to cover up these errors than prevent them...Hospitals, insurance companies, HMOs, state medical boards, and medical associations also come under fire for turning a deaf ear to the claims of innocent victims and their families. Gibson and Singh shed light on the intimidation and other punishing tactics these bodies use to maintain the Wall of Silence. (Publisher)
The Lost Art of Healing by Bernard Lown M.D.
Despite huge technological advancements, today’s medicine is in a state of crisis, claims Lown (professor emeritus in cardiology at Harvard and cofounder of Physicians Against Nuclear War). Emphasizing that nothing can replace listening and careful history taking, Lown laments that doctors have now substituted technology for taking time with the patient, shifting their medical focus from healing the patient to curing the disease...Lown extracts from his 50 years of medical practice case histories and examples of the clinical wisdom that enable a doctor to comprehend essential medical problems...he evinces little optimism that his wisdom will be heeded in this age of Medicare and managed care. Recommended for all medical collections. (Library Journal)
The End of Science by John Horgan
Scientific American columnist Horgan here interviews an impressive array of scientists and philosophers, who seem sharply divided over the prospects and possibilities of science. Among the pessimists, molecular biologist Gunther Stent suggests that science is reaching a point of incremental, diminishing returns as it comes up against the limits of knowledge; philosopher Thomas Kuhn sees science as a nonrational process that does not converge with truth; Vienna-born thinker Paul Feyerabend objects to science’s pretensions to certainty and its potential to stamp out the diversity of human thought and culture. More optimistic are particle physicist Edward Witten, pioneer of superstring theory; robotics engineer Hans Moravec, who envisions superintelligent creative robots; and physicist Roger Penrose, who theorizes that quantum effects percolating through the brain underlie consciousness...Despite the dominant doomsaying tone, this colloquium leaves much room for optimism. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Modified 3.01.11
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