What Your Doctor Won't Tell You

J. Heimlich, Author, Jane Heimlich, Author Harper Perennial $21.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-06-055204-6
Consumers could certainly use a solid journalistic examination of ``alternative'' medical therapies and their advocates. Heimlich's, unfortunately, is not that book. While justifiably deploring overmedication and unnecessary surgery, Heimlich ( Homeopathic Medicine at Home ) accepts uncritically many suggestions, so long as they do not emanate from the ``establishment.'' The result is a melange of solid good sense (stop smoking to prevent heart disease), interesting potential (acupuncture as a treatment for sundry ailments; the mind-body connection) and much that is highly dubious and potentially dangerous, including discredited south-of-the-border cancer therapies, floral extracts, magnets and ``psychic diagnosis.'' Typical of the author's gullibility is her failure to impute other than altruistic motives to her sources; she accepts, with no apparent awareness of conflict of interest, an ``expert'' opinion on vitamin megadoses from a manufacturer of such products. Her book will bolster the convictions of believers; its anecdotes, testimonials and naivete will rightly reinforce the doubts of skeptics. Heimlich is married to Henry Heimlich, the physician who devised the lifesaving Heimlich Maneuver. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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