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Alternative and Bio-medicine in Israel

This book explores the macro and micro social contexts in which alternative and bio-medicine co-exist in Israel. It includes a history of alternative health care in Israel and analysis of current policies and dilemmas regarding different forms of health care. It provides an in-depth analysis of medical professionals who have added alternative health care to their repertoire of professional skills in their practice settings in hospitals and community clinics. The heterogeneity of patient populations in Israel makes it possible to explore attitudes of different cultural groups toward alternative health care: these include Jewish immigrants from different countries as well as Bedouin and other Arab groups. Since alternative medicine is a growing part of the overall health care system in many countries, the book provides insights gained from the Israeli experience regarding its coexistence along with conventional medicine-to a broad spectrum of health professionals, policy makers and laypersons.
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About the Author

Judith T. Shuval is Rose Professor of Sociology and director of the program in the sociology of health at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a joint appointment in the department of sociology and in the School of Public Health. Her books include: Immigrants on the Threshold; Social Functions of Medical Practice; Newcomers and Colleagues: Soviet Immigrant Physicians in Israel; Social Dimensions of Health: The Israel Experience; and Immigrant Physicians: Former Soviet Doctors in Israel, Canada and the United States.


No authors are better positioned than Shuval and Averbach to explore the boundaries and bridges between alternative and biomedicine. They have spent over ten years examining the ways in which these two disparate forms of health care have managed to co-exist in Israel. With a solid theoretical framework and historical perspective, the book explores the diverse forms of co-existence that have emerged in their country between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and the biomedical model. These include studies of nurses and midwives practicing CAM, as well as physicians who regularly incorporate it into their treatments. Other Israeli colleagues contribute significantly to the empirical research. The book will be a critical source for scholars seeking to understand the social processes underlying the current challenges to the previous dominance of the medical profession and the transformation of the health care system.--Merrijoy Kelner An impressive new English-language book, written by a veteran Hebrew University professor (emerita) of sociology and a young HU researcher with a newly minted doctorate in the field, is the result of a decade of joint research. Titled Alternative and Bio-Medicine in Israel: Boundaries and Bridges, the volume does not judge whether CAM is effective or has been proven by scientific evidence. Instead, Prof. Judith Shuval and Dr. Emma Averbuch - supplemented by nine academic contributors - provides a fascinating historical analysis of CAM in pre-state and contemporary Israel. It is also a formidable examination of how CAM is carried out by physicians and those without formal medical credentials; the cultural and political context; conflicts and partnerships; and recommendations of where to go in the future.--Judy Siegel-Itzkovioch

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