"When we're ill, we put our trust in doctors who promise to put our well-being first and pledge to do us no harm. But medicine's expanding capabilities and soaring costs threaten to make this commitment obsolete. Increasingly, warns Gregg Bloche, societyis calling upon physicians to ration care and to put their skills to use on behalf of insurance companies, hospital bureaucrats, government officials, and courts of law. Doctors have increasingly answered this call, putting patient trust and health at risk, while endangering citizens' liberty and privacy. In this book, Dr. Bloche evocatively communicates the tensions and emotions of doctors and patients as he takes on a wide variety of complex ethical situations, including how: - doctors have double agendas, as caregivers and arbiters of cost, compromising their ability to prioritize patient needs - medicine has become a weapon in America's internal fight over such matters as abortion, assisted suicide, and the rights of gays and lesbians - doctors decide, under pressure from insurers and hospital administrators, to discontinue potentially life-saving treatment, even when patients and family members object. Challenging, provocative, and insightful The Hippocratic Myth breaks the code of silence shroudingmedicine's routine departure from the promise of uncompromising loyalty to patients. It is a powerful warning about the need for doctors to forge a new compact with patients and society. This is a hard-hitting message for the medical community and anyonewho has ever been a patient. "--Provided by publisher.