Modern Myths and Medical Consumerism The Asclepius Complex
Modern Myths and Medical Consumerism is concerned with the loss of a sense of limit in technological medicine today, and the way in which the denial of death leads to an uncontrollable, consumeristic multiplication of needs. Taking its starting point from C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology, the book gives a symbolic interpretation based on archetypal, philosophical and socio-psychoanalytic ideas developed through the author’s personal experience, moving from the medical to the psychoanalytical paradigm.
Lanfranchi depicts ideal sources of medicine, based on archetypal material drawn from Greek myth, and discusses the progressive steps of the doctor’s consciousness’ evolution up to contemporary times. Critiquing current medicine and its ‘modern myths’, the book suggests the prevailing model of economic development is unsustainable, and provides prospects of a more contained ecological medicine and an ethical approach that will allow readers to reflect and move towards a more qualified attitude to mortality.
The book meets the need to transform medicine into a critical domain of human experience, capable of providing essential services consistent with the naturalness of death and environmental sustainability. As such, it will be vital reading to academics in the fields of psychotherapy, analytical psychology, psychiatry and medicine, and those with a philosophical or sociological background.
Introduction PART I A metapsychology of the doctor’s consciousness 1. The story of Asclepius 2. Alfred Ziegler’s archetypal medicine PART II Medicine and society in our time 1. Modern myths in medicine 2. Narcissus’s mirror 3. The illusory nature of concretism 4. Considerations on courage PART III Life hanging by a thread 1. Illness as an experience of the soul 2. The globalization of medicine: towards an ecological medicine
"Modern Myths and Medical Consumerism considers medicine from a vast perspective, the author being an experienced cardiologist and an analyst with a cosmopolitan background. This clear and deep text analyzes the philosophical roots and archetypal history of medical omnipotence: no other essay has done it before. It is essential reading not only for psychotherapists, medical doctors and patients, but more broadly for anyone interested in the ever growing arrogance of Western technology."
Luigi Zoja, author and former President of the International Jungian Association.
"With the inexorable rise in medical consumerism, and the concomitant increase in the tendency to deny the existence of death, there is an urgent need to examine why this is so. This elegantly composed monograph, written by a percipient cardiologist, is an incisive analysis of the topic. It is an admirable guide to all members of the lay public who are interested in modern-day trends in medical practice."
Sir John Meurig Thomas, FRS, FREng, University of Cambridge.