Articles from The Atlantic Monthly's archive and related links

"Insurance Required" (January/February 2004)
If mandatory insurance is good enough for your car... By Laurie Rubiner

"Information, Please" (January/February 2004)
Sounds crazy, but one way to arrest the spiraling cost of health care would be to figure out what treatments actually work. By Shannon Brownlee

"Putting a Value on Health" (January/February 2004)
The way to arrest spiraling costs is to admit that we already do what we say we never will—ration health care—and then figure out how to do that better. By Don Peck

"Floor Time" (January/February 2003)
A new approach to the treatment of autism, one that emphasizes emotional development through intensive one-on-one engagement with autistic children, appears to offer some hope in responding to a disorder that is both epidemic and frequently intractable. By Patricia Stacey

"The Louse is in the House" (January/February 2003)
A malady that does not speak its name. By P. J. O'Rourke

"The Overtreated American" (January/February 2003)
One of our biggest health-care problems is that there's just too much health care. Cutting down on the excess could save enough to cover everyone who is now uninsured. By Shannon Brownlee

"The Fat Tax" (December 2002)
"Call me oversensitive, but I think I detect a hint of snobbery in the national anti-fat drive." By Jonathan Rauch

"Bucking the Herd" (September 2002)
Parents who refuse vaccination for their children may be putting entire communities at risk. By Arthur Allen

"Cloning Trevor" (June 2002)
A desperate family, an ambitious company, a controversial experiment: a report from inside the battle over therapeutic cloning. By Kyla Dunn

"Of Clones and Clowns" (June 2002)
A distinguished molecular biologist discusses the "cloning circus" and the damage it is doing to serious research. By Robert A. Weinberg

"Jack or Jill" (March 2002)
The era of consumer-driven eugenics has begun. By Margaret Talbot

"Moonrise" (December 2001)
A mother describes a teenage son with muscular dystrophy—the life he leads and the one he can look forward to. By Penny Wolfson

"Countering the Smallpox Threat" (December 2001)
Even before the September 11 attacks heightened our fears of bio-terrorism, a biologist came up with a sensible strategy for coping with one of the most fearsome possibilities. By Jonathan Rauch

"One-Alarm Fire" (December 2001)
U.S. counterterrorism may be overly preoccupied with biological weapons—which have a rather poor track record. By Bruce Hoffman

"New World Syndrome" (June 2001)
Spam and turkey tails have turned Micronesians into Macronesians. A case study of how fatty Western plenty is taking a disastrous toll on people in developing countries. By Ellen Ruppel Shell

"Shock and Disbelief" (February 2001)
Electroconvulsive therapy was once psychiatry's most terrifying tool—blunt, painful, and widely abused. It is a now a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of mental illnesses. But an unlikely trio of activist groups stands against it. By Daniel Smith

"The Indoctrinologists Are Coming" (January 2001)
Does either color or sex determine the level and frequency of medical care that individual patients receive? A careful look at available data, the author argues, suggests that the answer is no. By Sally Satel

"Health Care: A Bolt of Civic Hope" (October 2000)
In an anti-political time the politics of remedy is still possible. Two congressmen, one liberal, one conservative, both versed in the relevant complexities, agree on the bones of a plan to insure the 44 million Americans without health insurance. By Matthew Miller

"Does Civilization Cause Asthma?" (May 2000)
Asthma is growing at an alarming and puzzling rate in industrialized countries, and the answers to the mystery of its origins may lie in our very attempts to prevent childhood disease. By Ellen Ruppel Shell

"The Virus and the Vaccine (February 2000)
A simian virus known as SV40 has been associated with a number of rare human cancers. This same virus contaminated the polio vaccine administered to 98 million Americans from 1955 to 1963. Federal health officials see little reason for concern. A growing cadre of medical researchers disagree. By Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher

"The Clinical-Trials Bottleneck" By Francine Russo (May 1999)
Randomized clinical trials are the most conclusive way to test new treatments for cancer, but these trials are often resisted by patients, by doctors, and by insurers reluctant to pay for unproven therapies.

"A New Germ Theory" (February 1999)
The dictates of evolution virtually demand that the causes of some of humanity's chronic and most baffling "noninfectious" illnesses will turn out to be pathogens—that is the radical view of a prominent evolutionary biologist. By Judith Hooper

"Could Mad-Cow Disease Happen Here?" (September 1998)
One would think, given the deadly outbreak in Britain, that the U.S. government would by now have taken every possible precaution. Not so. By Ellen Ruppel Shell

"Resurgence of a Deadly Disease" (August 1997)
Malaria kills roughly twice as many people worldwide as AIDS, drugs no longer work against some strains, and mosquitoes in diverse parts of the United States now carry the disease. Why aren't we doing more to fight it? By Ellen Ruppel Shell

"The AIDS Exception: Privacy vs. Public Health" (June 1997)
It's time to stop granting "civil rights" to HIV—and to confront AIDS with more of the traditional tools of public health. By Chandler Burr

"Whose Right to Die?" (March 1997)
Many arguments made in behalf of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are based on misreadings of history, misinterpretations of data, and sheer misinformation. By Ezekiel Emanuel

"What Nurses Stand For" (February 1997)
Sitcoms satirize them, the media ignore them, doctors won't listen to them, and now hospitals are laying them off, sacrificing them to corporate medicine—yet their contribution to patients and families is beyond price. By Suzanne Gordon

"Prayer vs. Pills" (April 1995)
The unwillingness of many Christian Science parents to seek help from physicians for their critically ill children has led to many painful and unnecessary deaths and, increasingly, to legal actions that have become burdensome to the Church and its members. By Caroline Fraser

"A Triumph of Misinformation" (January 1995)
Most of what everyone "knows" about the demise of health-care reform is probably wrong—and, more important, so are the vague impressions people have of what was really in the Clinton plan. By James Fallows

"What Market Values Are Doing to Medicine" (March 1992)
The former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine fears that his profession has lost its ethical way. Doctors, he argues, are not, and should not be, businessmen, and yet financial and technological pressures are forcing more and more of them to act like businessmen, with deleterious consequences for patients and for society as a whole. By Arnold S. Relman, M.D.

"Biology: Infectious Terrorism" (May 1991)
It is time to think seriously about how biological agents could be deployed against innocent civilians. By Robert S. Root-Bernstein

"Suffer the Restless Children" (November 1989)
Though nearly a million children are regularly given drugs to control "hyperactivity," we know little about what the disorder is, or whether it is really a disorder at all. By Alfie Kohn

"The Politics of American Health Care: What Is It Costing You?" (October 1973)
"The health care crisis is upon us. In response to soaring costs, a jumbled patchwork of insurance programs, and critical problems in delivering medical care, some kind of national health insurance has seemed in recent years to be an idea whose time has finally come in America." By Godfrey Hodgson

"The High Cost of Cure" (March 1970)
How a Hospital Bill Grows 17 Feet Long. By Michael Crichton

"The Medical Care Pork Barrel" (March 1961)
"Congress has clearly recognized that voluntary health insurance cannot meet the need, and financial assistance by the government for payment of medical bills for some of the aged is now a reality. But the present law also does not meet the need, and furthermore fosters direct local political control over the aged sick." By David D. Rutstein, M.D.

"The Health of the Nation: A Plea for Public Medicine" (February 1947)
"Organized medicine has always claimed—and on this point I agree—that two important factors that have elevated American medicine to its present high position are free choice of physician By the patient and absence of interference with the intimate physician-patient relationship. Both of these factors, instead of being hindered by a National Health Program, will actually be more extensively developed. Through inclusion in the program, the families with the smallest incomes, who now go to tax- or charity-supported clinics, will be able to choose their own physicians as the well-to-do choose them." By Channing Frothingham, M.D.

More on this issue from Atlantic Unbound:

Flashback: "Markets and Medicine"

"Cutting Down on Care" an interview with Suzanne Gordon, author of Life Support

Roundtable: "AIDS: Privacy vs. Public Health?"

Related Links

Project Vote Smart's Health Care Issue Web Resource Page

The American Prospect's collection of articles on health-care reform

Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.