The Illusion of Certainty: Health Benefits and Risks
Erik Rifkin, PhD & Edward Bouwer, PhD
Guest Author: Bob Sheff, MD
An exploration of risk assessment and how it can affect your medical decisons
“I view this book as I view Strunk’s little book, The Elements
of Style. It should be read and reread, lest we slip and make a serious cognitive error”.
J.Willis Hurst, MD, MACP
Published by Springer in 2007, "The Illusion of Certainty: Health Benefits and Risks" is a groundbreaking book that peels away the "veneer of certainty" which many of us attach to health risk and benefit information given to us in our daily lives.
It was written and designed primarily to assist the public in comprehending and interpreting the uncertainty associated with the overwhelming amount of information on medical and environmental health risks. The book uses unique, visual presentations (RCT: Risk Characterization Theater) and case studies to explain the benefits of medical screening tests (e.g., mammography, prostate and colorectal cancer screening, cholesterol screening) and drugs (e.g., statins, Vioxx) and the risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants (e.g., lead, dioxin, radon).
This book will help patients and their families get more involved in making medical decisions, and citizens face critical questions about the environment. By putting the complexities of risk analysis in terms the general public can relate to, the authors are empowering people to make well-informed decisions.