Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion

cohen_healing.jpg One of the transformations facing health care in the twenty-first century is the safe, effective, and appropriate integration of conventional, or biomedical, care with complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine, and spiritual healing. In Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Michael H. Cohen discusses the need for establishing rules and standards to facilitate appropriate integration of conventional and CAM therapies.

The kind of integrated health care many patients seek dwells in a borderland between the physical and the spiritual, between the quantifiable and the immeasurable, Cohen observes. But this mix of care fails to present clear rules for clinicians regarding which therapies to recommend, accept, or discourage, and how to discuss patient requests regarding inclusion of such therapies. Focusing on the social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of integrative care and grounding his analysis in the attendant legal, regulatory, and institutional changes, Cohen provides a multidisciplinary examination of the shift to a more fluid, pluralistic health care environment.

About the author
Michael H. Cohen holds a joint appointment as assistant clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health. He is also president of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine and principal in the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen. He is author of five books, including Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives.

Series: Studies in Social Medicine

248 pp., 51/2 x 81/2, 11 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

$34.95 cloth
ISBN 0-8078-3043-7

"Michael Cohen eloquently explores pathways to healing--a universal human desire. He opens our eyes to new ways to think about health--beyond the exclusivity of science and medicine to a wonderful array of different traditions and methodologies. For modern health care professionals, this book offers rich rewards."--Lawrence Gostin, Georgetown University Law Center and the Center for Law and the Public's Health