The Expropriation of Health (1976)
by Ivan Illich
(I read this book in 1994 and it has resonated with me ever since. Here is an excerpt from the introduction. My full notes are in the pdf at the end of this post.)
Thoughtful public discussion of the iatrogenic [“physician caused”, iatros=physician & genus=birth] pandemic, beginning with an insistence upon demystification of all medical matters, will not be dangerous to the commonweal. Indeed, what is dangerous is a passive public that has come to rely on superficial medical housecleaning.
My argument is that the layman and not the physician has the potential perspective and effective power to stop the current iatrogenic pandemic.
During the last generations the medical monopoly over health care has expanded without checks and has encroached on our liberty with regard to our own bodies. Society has transferred to physicians the exclusive right to determine what constitutes sickness, who is or might become sick, and what shall be done to such people...The social commitment to provide to all citizens with almost unlimited outputs from the medical system threatens to destroy the environmental and cultural conditions needed by people to live a life of constant autonomous healing.
Fairly extensive notes from Medical Nemesis can be found here:
Download Medical Nemesis Illich Illich was a visionary. Few acknowledge his influence; indeed most are not even aware of it.