A comprehensive history of the concept of freedom of therapeutic choice in the United States that presents a compelling look at how persistent but evolving notions of a right to therapeutic choice have affected American policy and law from the Revolution through the Trump Era.
Throughout American history, lawmakers have limited the range of treatments available to patients, often with the backing of the medical establishment. The country's history is also, however, brimming with social movements that have condemned such restrictions as violations of fundamental American liberties. This fierce conflict is one of the defining features of the social history of medicine in the United States.
In Choose Your Medicine, Lewis A. Grossman presents a compelling look at how persistent but evolving notions of a right to therapeutic choice have affected American health policy, law, and regulation from the Revolution through the Trump Era. Grossman grounds his analysis in historical examples ranging from unschooled supporters of botanical medicine in the early nineteenth century to sophisticated cancer patient advocacy groups in the twenty-first. He vividly describes how activists and lawyers have resisted a wide variety of legal constraints on therapeutic choice, including medical licensing statutes, FDA limitations on unapproved drugs and alternative remedies, abortion restrictions, and prohibitions against medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide. Grossman also considers the relationship between these campaigns for desired treatments and widespread opposition to state-compelled health measures such as vaccines and face masks.
From the streets of San Francisco to the US Supreme Court, Choose Your Medicine examines an underexplored theme of American history, politics, and law that is more relevant today than ever.
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Lewis A Grossman is Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History at American University. He has also been a Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton University and a Visiting Professor at Cornell Law School. He teaches and writes in the areas of food and drug law, health law, American legal history, and civil procedure. Prior to joining the American University faculty, Professor Grossman was an associate at Covington & Burling LLP, and before that he clerked for Chief Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His scholarship has appeared in numerous academic journals and published volumes. He is the co-author of Food and Drug Law: Cases and Materials, the leading text in the field. Professor Grossman is also the co-author of the widely used text A Documentary Companion to A Civil Action. He has served on four committees of the Health and Medicine Division (formerly the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Professor Grossman earned his Ph.D. in History from Yale University, where he was awarded the George Washington Egleston Prize for Best Dissertation in the Field of American History. He received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. from Yale University.
1. Storming the Bastille of Orthodoxy: The Origins of American Health Libertarianism
2. "The Blood-Bought Freedom of Our Venerable Sires": The Antebellum Battle for Medical Freedom
3. Orthodoxy and "The Other Man's Doxy": Medical Licensing and Medical Freedom in the Gilded Age
4. Reining in Progressive "State Medicine"
5. Conspiracy Theorists and Con Men: Freedom of Therapeutic Choice in the "Golden Age" of Medicine
6. The Spirit of the '70s: Vitamins, Yogurt, and Apricot Pits
7. AIDS Activists, FDA Regulation, and the Amendment of America's Drug Constitution
8. Modern Resistance to Orthodox Medical Domination
9. Life, Liberty, [and the Pursuit of Happiness]: The Long Struggle for Legalization of Medical Marijuana
10. The Right to be Covered: Therapeutic Choice and Health Insurance
11. The End: Freedom to Choose and the Right to Die
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