Trusting Doctors discusses the emphasis that Protestant clergymen placed on the physician's vocation; the focus that Catholic moralists put on specific dilemmas faced in daily medical practice; and the loss of unchallenged authority experienced by doctors after World War II, when practitioners became valued for their technical competence rather than their personal integrity. Imber shows how the clergy gradually lost their impact in defining the physician's moral character, and how vocal critics of medicine contributed to a decline in patient confidence. The author argues that as modern medicine becomes defined by specialization, rapid medical advance, profit-driven industry, and ever more anxious patients, the future for a renewed trust in doctors will be confronted by even greater challenges.
Trusting Doctors provides valuable insights into the religious underpinnings of the doctor-patient relationship and raises critical questions about the ultimate place of the medical profession in American life and culture.
Part 1, "Markets and Morals," offers eight contributors who provide analyses of the various ways in which the market operates in relation to morality. An empirical presentation of moral values and market attitudes is given. Other essays take aim at how markets serve and disserve moral interests: Economic growth has moral consequences; the manipulation of markets exposes a moral underside; the nature of market failure has implications for understanding moral vulnerability; preference change has moral implications. In other chapters, a broad consideration of the positive moral effects of market economies is offered along with historical essays on the role that intellectuals have played in debates about the positive and negative effects of commercial life and on the ways in which the American idea of the pursuit of happiness reveals much about the morality of economic life.
In Part 2, "Markets and Religion," nine contributors address both the historical and contemporary emergence of religious factors in the growth and transformation of global capitalism. Major religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are examined for their contributions to answering questions about the nature and function of economic life in light of religious ideas and ideals. Several essays present original approaches to the importance of religious values to modern forms of consumption and to the political economy of reconciliation and forgiveness in nations coming to terms with past conflict. Finally, the influence of non-Western ideas, in particular Chinese religions and Buddhism on economic thought and practice, is assessed as part of the globalizing impact of religion on economic life generally.
Jonathan B. Imber is Class of 1949 Professor in Ethics and Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College. He is editor-in-chief of Society. Peter L. Berger is University Professor of Sociology and Theology at Boston University and director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs.
The book is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Policy Uses and Misuses of Science," explores the various ways in which scientific claims are inevitably mediated by how they are used. Joel Best, draws on statistics involving missing children, violence against women, and attendance figures at political demonstrations to demonstrate how the motivations to use inaccurate and misleading numbers stems directly from the ideological and organizational interests of those using them. Judith Kleinfeld analyzes recruitment policies for women scientists at MIT, showing how hiring practices that may be justifiable on extra-scientific factors are carried out based on pseudo-scientific studies not subject to public scrutiny. Robert MacCoun addresses the journalistic misuse of drug and drug abuse statistics and shows how this profoundly distorts policy implications drawn from them. And Allan Mazur examines the role scientific evidence has come to play in the law, pointing out the pitfalls of its intrinsic quality and how such evidence may be interpreted or misinterpreted by judges and juries.
Part 2, "Searching for Science Policy," extends discussion of the role of science to specific ideas about how public policy-making might be improved in matters of law, family, environment, drug use, and health. Mark Kleiman weighs the sometimes conflicting claims of science and social order in formulating drug policy. Norval Glenn calls for closer cooperation between professional associations, the media, and researchers in reporting provisional social science findings to the public. Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter examine the dynamic by which environmental organizations shape public perceptions of risk and harm. And in the concluding chapter, Sheila Jasanoff looks closely at differences between the provisional nature of science as normally practiced and the more contentious sphere of litigation that demands ultimate resolution.
In a time when scientists find themselves subject to more public scrutiny than ever before, the well-informed citizen is no longer a moral ideal but rather a social imperative. Searching for Science Policy helps to clarify the grounds and the circumstances of more effective use of science in public discourse.