John Sloan: A Bitter Pill
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A Bitter Pill
How the medical system is failing the elderly

John Sloan

Greystone Books, 2009

Topic: Health and Medicine


An investigation into why the health care system does not work for old people who are in fragile health and what we can do about it

Medical treatment of elderly people is not working. Worse, it is often harmful, says author John Sloan, a family physician who has worked primarily with the elderly for more than twenty years. In A Bitter Pill, he examines why medical treatment-from modern medicine's one-size-fits-all prevention strategy to hospital stays that don't benefit anyone-is failing them and identifies solutions to the problem.

In clear, accessible language, Sloan argues that we must understand what people in poor health at the end of their lives really need: comfort, dignity, and quality of life. He also argues that caregivers, sons, daughters, nurses, doctors, and social workers-all of us-must assume responsibility for what happens to the elderly and give these loved ones the kind of care we hope, one day, someone will give us.

Listen to John Sloan discussing A Bitter Pill


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