From the Publisher
BACK COVER TEXTThis book is brilliant and wise, full of unexpected insights, and a delight to read! It is the kind of rare book that only a practicing scientist with a deep awareness of medicine, therapeutics, politics, and societies can write. A materialist framework is critical for understanding the history of any science, and this book is the most astute of any book I have read on the history of medicine. The science of physiology and the art of healing are merged in medicine, and the author truly grasps the significance of both.Professor Mriganka Sur, PhD FRSNewton Professor of NeuroscienceHead, Department of Brain and Cognitive SciencesDirector, Simons Initiative on Autism and the BrainMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA 02139, USAHealth care is riddled with uncertainties that rarely receive adequate public debate. Daya Varma’s new book, in culling a wide range of scholarship, offers an analysis of why much uncertainty in both Western and Eastern societies relates to multiple approaches to healing. Varma charges us to examine closely why we have different schools of medicine, their origins and roles in society. As conventional scientific medicine becomes more and more expensive and reliant on technology, Varma’s reflections on the origins and sustainability of multiple schools of health care must be part of discussions on the future of health care. J. K. Crellin MD, PhDHonorary Research Professor, Memorial UniversitySt. John’s, NL A1B 3V6, CanadaDaya R. Varma, an extraordinarily gifted educator, scientist, and physician, schooled in the medical practices of both the East and the West, and motivated by deeply felt humanitarian values, has written a uniquely indispensable and compelling book. In it, he provides wisdom, understanding, and guidance to seekers, practitioners, and policy makers of health care based on a superb evaluation of the historical relationship between scientific knowledge and medical practice. His book contains some astonishing observations that, if adopted, would curtail medical practices that have no scientific and ethical underpinnings. Furthermore, his astute observations provide a foundation for future improvements in medical practices.Richard A. Gillis, PhDProfessor of PharmacologyGeorgetown UniversitySchool of Medicine,and a life-long student of the author.