1st Edition

The Unmasking of Medicine A Searching Look at Healthcare Today

By Ian Kennedy Copyright 1993

    Originally published in 1981 and then as a second edition, revised and updated in 1983 and now with a new Preface by Ian Kennedy, this is a hard-hitting and penetrating investigation behind the façade of late 20th Century medical thinking. Based on his controversial series of Reith Lectures, Ian Kennedy attacks issues and problems which are central to today’s debate over the provision of health care. He asks why people are willing to give up so much power over their own lives to the medical profession and discusses why the Health Service has become an illness service. He also questions whether doctors are adequately trained to deal with ethical problems.

    1. Promises, Patients and Politics: The Conflicts of the NHS Keith A. Barnard 2. Medical Autonomy: Challenge and Response Mary Ann Elston 3. Access and Efficiency in Medical Care: A Consideration of Accident and Emergency Services Arthur Gunawardena and Kenneth Lee 4. Patients: Receivers or Participants? Malcolm L. Johnson 5. Power, Patients and Pluralism Chris J. Ham 6. Participation or Control? The Workers’ Involvement in Management Stuart J. Dimmock 7. Health Administration and the Jaundice of Reorganisation J. Crossley Sunderland 8. Making Reorganisation Work: Challenges and Dilemmas in the Development of Community Medicine David Towell 9. Planning, Uncertainty and Judgement: The Case of Population Andrew F. Long 10. Public Expenditures, Planning and Local Democracy Kenneth Lee.


    As an academic lawyer, Ian Kennedy was a pioneer in the establishment of medical law and ethics as a discipline in its own right. He was invited to deliver the BBC 1980 Reith Lectures on the subject. He has written leading works in the field and founded an internationally recognised centre for research and graduate teaching. While at King’s College London, he was Dean and Head of the Law School, Chairman of the College’s Research Committee and a member of the College Committee, the College’s Executive Committee. He was also Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics for over 20 years. Ian Kennedy's contribution to scholarship and public policy has been recognised by his knighthood, election as a Fellow of the British Academy, election as an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple, appointment as an Honorary KC, Fellowships at two London Colleges, (UCL and King’s), Honorary Doctorates in Science (Glasgow), Medicine (Birmingham), and Public Policy (York), and Honorary Fellowships in six Medical Royal Colleges.

    For more information please see https://www.iankennedyconsulting.com/ 

    Reviews of the original edition of The Unmasking of Medicine:

    ‘A splendidly polemical work that will irritate many of those engaged in the medical profession but should be a tonic to consumers of the service.’ New Statesman

    ‘Kennedy’s views have to be taken seriously, both for their own sake and because they are representative of the forces which seek to effect a radical change in the focus of medicine.’ British Medical Journal

    ‘Nurses must place themselves in the vanguard of this medical revolution, for all our sakes.’ Nursing Times

    ‘Kennedy has the trained lawyer’s skills in assembling, with hard-to-dismiss evidence, a case which doctors are understandably loath to admit.’ New Society

    ‘Some doctors may be angered but most, with luck, will be provoked to think.’ World Medicine.