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The Lomidine Files

The Untold Story of a Medical Disaster in Colonial Africa

Guillaume Lachenal<BR>translated by Noémi R. Tousignant

After the Second World War, French colonial health services, armed with a newly discovered drug, made the eradication of sleeping sickness their top priority. A single injection of Lomidine (known as Pentamidine in the United States) promised to protect against infection for six months or longer. Mass campaigns of "preventive lomidinization" were launched with immense enthusiasm across Africa. But the drug proved to be both inefficient and dangerous. Contaminated injections caused bacterial infections that progressed to gangrene, killing dozens of people. Shockingly, the French physicians who administered the shots seemed to know the drug’s risk: while they obtained signed consent before giving Lomidine to French citizens, they administered it to Africans without their consent—sometimes by force.

In The Lomidine Files, Guillaume Lachenal traces the medicine’s trajectory from experimental trials during the Second World War, when it was introduced as a miracle cure for sleeping sickness, to its abandonment in the late 1950s, when a series of deadly incidents brought lomidinization campaigns to a grinding halt. He explores colonial doctors’ dangerously hubristic obsession with an Africa freed from disease and describes the terrible reactions caused by the drug, the resulting panic of colonial authorities, and the decades-long cover-up that followed.

A fascinating material history that touches on the drug’s manufacture and distribution, as well as the tragedies that followed in its path, The Lomidine Files resurrects a nearly forgotten scandal. Ultimately, it illuminates public health not only as a showcase of colonial humanism and a tool of control, but also as an arena of mediocrity, powerlessness, and stupidity.

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Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice

Lisa A. Eckenwiler

Long-term care can be vexing on a personal as well as social level, and it will only grow more so as individuals continue to live longer and the population of aged persons increases in the United States and around the world. This volume explores the ethical issues surrounding elder care from an ecological perspective to propose a new theory of global justice for long-term care. Care work is organized not just nationally, as much current debate suggests, but also transnationally, through economic, labor, immigration, and health policies established by governments, international lending bodies, and for-profit entities, in a manner that raises pressing questions of local as well as global responsibility. Taking an epistemological approach termed “ecological knowing,” Lisa A. Eckenwiler examines this organizational structure to show how it creates and sustains injustice against the dependent elderly and those who care for them, including a growing number of migrant care workers, and weakens the capacities of so-called source countries and their health care systems. She identifies those who are harmed by the existing long-term care system—the elderly, family caregivers, and paid care workers, especially migrants and populations in source countries—and from there offers a corrective philosophical framework. By focusing on the fact that a range of policies, people, and places are interrelated and mutually dependent, Eckenwiler is able not only to provide a holistic understanding of the way long-term care works to generate injustice, but also to find ethical and practicable policy solutions for caring for aging populations in the United States and in less well-off parts of the world. Deeply considered and empirically informed, this examination of the troubles in transnational long-term care is the first to probe the issue from a perspective that reckons with the interdependence of policies, people, and places, and the first to recommend ways policymakers, planners, and families can together develop cohesive, coherent long-term care policies around the ideal of justice.

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Lyme Disease

Why It’s Spreading, How It Makes You Sick, and What to Do about It

Alan G. Barbour, MD

Once restricted to small forested areas in the northeast and north-central United States, Lyme disease is now a common infection in North America and Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 300,000 new cases occur each year in the United States. Misunderstandings over symptoms and treatment increase the public’s concerns about the disease—which, if not properly treated, can become chronic and debilitating. An expert on tick-borne diseases, Alan G. Barbour explains the course of illness that results from infection, diagnosis and treatment options, and steps that can be taken to avoid a tick bite in the first place. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease may also transmit other disease-causing pathogens, and these other infections are considered as well. Drawing on real case histories of individuals with Lyme disease—or illnesses that may be mistaken for Lyme disease—Barbour explains: · The biology of the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, that causes Lyme disease · The role of animals such as mice that carry the infection · The life cycle of the ticks that transmit the infection · The importance of deer in perpetuating the cycle · The basics of diagnostic laboratory tests and how test results are interpreted · How antibiotics are used in treating Lyme disease Infected ticks are abundant in the woods, in walking trails, and in the shrubs and tall grass where suburban lawns meet wooded areas. Barbour stresses preventing disease through community-wide ecology projects and individual and household protection. While it may be difficult to escape infection, understanding the danger, the symptoms, and the treatment goes a long way toward preventing long-term health consequences. Featuring a list of reliable web sites and a glossary of terms, Lyme Disease is an invaluable resource for everyone who is at risk of the disease or is involved in preventing and treating it.

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Médias, médicaments et espace public

Edited by Christine Thoër

Cet ouvrage porte sur la communication pharmaceutique et son évolution; la médiatisation des découvertes pharmacologiques; la couverture des crises entourant certains médicaments vedettes; le rôle que joue Internet; la promotion d'une meilleure utilisation des médicaments; la régulation de la publicité; et, l'éducation des consommateurs.

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Making the American Mouth

Dentists and Public Health in the Twentieth Century

Alyssa Picard

Why are Americans so uniquely obsessed with teeth? Brilliantly white, straight teeth?

Making the American Mouth is at once a history of United States dentistry and a study of a billion-dollar industry. Alyssa Picard chronicles the forces that limited Americans' access to dental care in the early twentieth century and the ways dentists worked to expand that access--and improve the public image of their profession. Comprehensive in scope, this work describes how dentists' early public health commitments withered under the strain of fights over fluoride, mid-century social movements for racial and gender equity, and pressure to insure dental costs. It explains how dentists came to promote cosmetic services, and why Americans were so eager to purchase them. As we move into the twentyfirst century, dentists' success in shaping their industry means that for many, the perfect American smile will remain a distant--though tantalizing--dream.

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Mapping Disease Transmission Risk

Enriching Models Using Biogeography and Ecology

A. Townsend Peterson

A. Townsend Peterson, one of the pioneers of ecological niche modeling, presents a synthesis that illuminates new and more effective infectious disease mapping methods. His work—the culmination of twelve years of refinement—breaks new ground by integrating biogeographic and ecological factors with spatial models. Aimed at seasoned epidemiologists and public health experts, this interdisciplinary book explains the conceptual and technical underpinnings of Peterson’s approach while simultaneously describing the potentially enormous benefits of his modeling method. Peterson treats disease transmission areas for what they are—distributions of species. The book argues that complex, fragmented, and highly irregular disease patterns can only be understood when underlying environmental drivers are considered. The result is an elegant modeling approach that challenges static spatial models and provides a framework for recasting disease mapping. Anyone working in the area of disease transmission, particularly those employing predictive maps, will find Peterson’s book both inspiring and indispensable.

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Medical Professionalism in the New Information Age

Edited and with an Introduction by David J. Rothman and David Blumenthal

With computerized health information receiving unprecedented government support, a group of health policy scholars analyze the intricate legal, social, and professional implications of the new technology. These essays explore how Health Information Technology (HIT) may alter relationships between physicians and patients, physicians and other providers, and physicians and their home institutions. Taken together, these investigations cast new light on the challenges and opportunities presented by HIT.

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Medical Research for Hire

The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials

Jill A. Fisher

Focusing on the professional roles of those involved, as well as key research practices, Fisher assesses the risks and advantages for physicians and patients alike when pharmaceutical drug studies are used as an alternative to standard medical care.

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Medical Transitions in Twentieth-Century China

Edited by Bridie Andrews and Mary Brown Bullock

This volume examines important aspects of China's century-long search to provide appropriate and effective health care for its people. Four subjects—disease and healing, encounters and accommodations, institutions and professions, and people's health—organize discussions across case studies of schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, mental health, and tobacco and health. Among the book’s significant conclusions are the importance of barefoot doctors in disseminating western medicine, the improvements in medical health and services during the long Sino-Japanese war, and the important role of the Chinese consumer. Intended for an audience of health practitioners, historians, and others interested in the history of medicine and health in China, the book is one of three commissioned by the China Medical Board to mark its centennial in 2014.

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