Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine

Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine, All the Wild That Remains

Episode: Extraordinary Ordinary Medicine, All the Wild That Remains

  • Jul 17, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 50:39 mins

Guest: Dr. Sharon Kaufman, chair of the department of anthropology, history and social medicine at UC-San Francisco and author of “Ordinary Medicine: Extraordinary Treatments, Longer Lives and Where to Draw the Line.”  Medicine is Top of Mind. There’s nothing ordinary about the miracle of technology enabling Americans to live longer, healthier lives and survive ailments that even a few decades ago meant certain, swift death. But in her new book, “Ordinary Medicine,” medical anthropologist Sharon Kaufman argues that once clinical trials back up the power of a new breakthrough and insurers like Medicare decide to cover it, extraordinary treatments becomes ordinary. Expected. Impossible to turn down. And so, when an 85 year old gets a liver or kidney transplant or a defibrillator implanted in his chest to shock his heart back to life if it stops, we say – “Well, he’ll probably live another year or two as a result of the procedure. How can we deny him that? Even if it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, paid by Medicare? We value life at all costs.”