A study of social assumptions, specific events, medical categories, distinct groups and ideas of control in health research. This book examines presumptions about gender, race and age with particular reference to the "biological clock" and notions of "civilized countries" and "primitive races". The volume is divided into three sections. The first section spells out the author's new theory of medicalism - a co-emergent process of health care which puts health-care consumers on an equal causal footing with health-care providers. The second section takes up each of the issues of age, sex and race in turn and looks at the particular consequences of these assumptions for specific health events. With age, fertility is the focus. With sex and race, the focus is on cancer. The third section deals with action both in terms of doing better research and making informed choices about health care.