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Investigating medical malpractice in New York State


Reasons for writing Medical Lifeboat
Howard Hiatt Physician
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In 1984-85 I took a sabbatical and I wrote the book that was intended to change definitively the healthcare system in the United States and healthcare in... in general. The book was entitled, America's Health in the Balance, although I chose the title, Medical Lifeboat I permitted my publisher to persuade me that the first title would lead to greater sales, and that's the way in which it appeared initially. The first review of the book took place in, in the New York Times by their principal book critic at that time, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, and the review began, this... the review which was an altogether favourable one, began, 'this drearily-titled book' and went on in that fashion. Shortly after my paper arrived I had a call from my publisher, close friend. He apologized abjectly and promised that the paperback edition would be entitled Medical Lifeboat. It was. I'm not sure it sold any more copies than the original and the healthcare system today - nobody would quarrel with my suggestion that it's far worse off than it was then, so my goal was not... was not met. The book was translated into both Japanese and Korean by some of my students at the School of Public Health, and whether there have been changes in the healthcare in Japan and Korea, I can't tell, but it cannot have had a lesser affect than in the United States.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: America's Health in the Balance, Medical Lifeboat

Duration: 2 minutes, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008