Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion

By Michael H. Cohen

248 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 11 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

Not for Sale in South Asia

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5962-9
    Published: February 2009
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7742-5
    Published: September 2007
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8025-3
    Published: September 2007

Studies in Social Medicine

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One of the transformations facing health care in the twenty-first century is the safe, effective, and appropriate integration of conventional, or biomedical, care with complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine, and spiritual healing. In Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion, Michael H. Cohen discusses the need for establishing rules and standards to facilitate appropriate integration of conventional and CAM therapies.

The kind of integrated health care many patients seek dwells in a borderland between the physical and the spiritual, between the quantifiable and the immeasurable, Cohen observes. But the present environment fails to present clear rules for clinicians regarding which therapies to recommend, accept, or discourage, and how to discuss patient requests regarding inclusion of such therapies. Focusing on the social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of integrative care and grounding his analysis in the attendant legal, regulatory, and institutional changes, Cohen provides a multidisciplinary examination of the shift to a more fluid, pluralistic health care environment.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen is principal in the Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and adjunct assistant professor of health law and policy at Harvard School of Public Health.
For more information about Michael H. Cohen, visit the Author Page.


"Provide[s] a framework and gives us possible explanations and places for religion and alternative medicine in the current system of care."--Journal of the National Medical Association

"Cohen is a leading authority in an exceedingly important but as yet relatively uncharted area of discussion that has serious implications for our society. Recommended."--Choice

"Michael Cohen eloquently explores pathways to healing--a universal human desire. He opens our eyes to new ways to think about health--beyond the exclusivity of science and medicine to a wonderful array of different traditions and methodologies. For modern health care professionals, this book offers rich rewards."--Lawrence Gostin, Georgetown University Law Center and the Center for Law and the Public's Health