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For Good and Ill

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Illustration by Justin Walsh, Oglivy NY  

Medicine advances at astonishing speed. This issue examines both the good and bad sides of that rush forward. In “Mind Bomb”, Kevin Baker wrestles with one of the most difficult questions of the DNA age: If one of your parents has a fatal genetic disease, should you or shouldn’t you get tested? In “Who Still Dies of AIDS, and Why”, Gary Taubes looks at patients whom modern medicine, for all its accomplishments, still fails. And in “Can One Sibling Pull the Plug If the Others Don’t Want To?”, Janelle Nanos explores the ever-expanding array of ethical dilemmas today’s doctors and patients face. Then there are the more positive sides of leading-edge medicine. In “Listening to Hypochondria”, Mark Levine shows how doctors have begun to take that condition seriously, helping legions of previously dismissed patients. Finally, there’s “Best Doctors 2008”, our annual list of the city’s top physicians. High-quality care, it seems safe to say, is an undisputed good.

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