by IVAN ILLICH
294 pages. Pantheon. $8.95.
With only a few notable exceptions, such as some senior officials of the American Medical Association, almost everyone agrees that modern medicine is as sick as the patients it treats. Increasing specialization has sent the old−and often romanticized−doctor-patient relationship the way of such medical artifacts as the mustard plaster and the house call. New medical technology and a complicated insurance system have turned much of medicine from a profession into a business, reducing doctors to entrepreneurs and their patients to "medical consumers," who must...