Hardback
December 17, 2019
9781421433332
English
352
118203
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.01 Inches (US)
$39.95 USD, £29.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
December 17, 2019
9781421433349
9781421433332
English
352
118203
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$39.95 USD, £29.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Medicalization of Birth and Death

In 1900, most Americans gave birth and died at home, with minimal medical intervention. By contrast, most Americans today begin and end their lives in hospitals. The medicalization we now see is due in large part to federal and state policies that draw patients away from community-based providers, such as birth centers and hospice care, and toward the most intensive and costliest kinds of care. But the evidence suggests that birthing and dying people receive too much—even harmful—medical intervention.

In The Medicalization of Birth and Death, political scientist Lauren K. Hall describes how and why birth and death became medicalized events. While hospitalization provides certain benefits, she acknowledges, it also creates harms, limiting patient autonomy, driving up costs, and causing a cascade of interventions, many with serious side effects. Tracing the regulatory, legal, and financial policies that centralize care during birth and death, Hall argues that medicalization reduces competition, stifles innovation, and prevents individuals from accessing the most appropriate care during their most vulnerable moments. She also examines the profound implications of policy-enforced medicalization on informed consent and shows how medicalization challenges the healthcare community's most foundational ethical commitments.

Drawing on interviews with medical and nonmedical healthcare providers, as well as surveys of patients and their families, Hall provides a broad overview of the costs, benefits, and origins of medicalized birth and death. The Medicalization of Birth and Death is required reading for academics, patients, providers, policymakers, and anyone else interested in how policy shapes healthcare options and limits patients and providers during life's most profound moments.

About the Author

Lauren K. Hall is an associate professor of political science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of Family and the Politics of Moderation: Private Life, Public Goods, and the Rebirth of Social Individualism.

Endorsements

"As a political scientist using an interdisciplinary approach, Hall is able to provide a unique perspective on this topic that healthcare providers and even policy experts may not have considered. She definitively identifies the various components that have made our healthcare system so complicated and explains why doctors make decisions for patients the way they do. This well-researched, well-argued book touches on almost every American's experience, and it can provide insights to both scholars and educated readers looking for answers."

- Laurette T. Liesen, Lewis University

"Americans know that somehow over the years, US healthcare has become sick: it doesn't treat patients well. Symptoms begin with the experience of mothers and babies at birth and end with the way we treat our dying. Lauren Hall brilliantly explains the problems and their causes, and prescribes treatment."

- Earl L. Grinols, Baylor University, coauthor of Healthcare for Us All: Getting More for Our Investment
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421433332 : the-medicalization-of-birth-and-death-hall
Hardback
December 17, 2019
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Electronic book text
December 17, 2019
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