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(The following text or part of it is quoted from the free Wikipedia article Iatrogenesis:)

Iatrogenesis is the causation of a disease, a harmful complication, or other ill effect by any medical activity, including diagnosis, intervention, error, or negligence.[1][2][3] First used in this sense in 1924,[1] the term was introduced to sociology in 1976 by Ivan Illich, alleging that industrialized societies impair quality of life by overmedicalizing life.[4] Iatrogenesis may thus include mental suffering via medical beliefs or a practitioner's statements.[4][5][6] Some iatrogenic events are obvious, like amputation of the wrong limb, whereas others, like drug interactions, can evade recognition. In a 2013 estimate, about 20 million negative effects from treatment had occurred globally.[7] In 2013, an estimated 142,000 persons died from adverse effects of medical treatment, up from an estimated 94,000 in 1990.[8]

Iatrogenic is a word applied to "any adverse condition in a patient resulting from treatment by a physician, nurse, or allied health professional."[9]


  1. a b REFweb Iatrogenic, merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  2. REFbook Barr JO, Kauffman TL (2014): Iatrogenesis in older adults, in: A Comprehensive Guide to Geriatric Rehabilitation. Timothy L. Kauffman, Ron Scott, John O. Barr & Michael L. Moran (eds.). Edition: 3. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
  3. REFweb (11 December 2014). Intervention Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Addiction Helper. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  4. a b REFweb (31 May 2020). iatrogenesis, Encyclopedia.com, A Dictionary of Sociology.
  5. REFbook Kuhl D (2002): What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End of Life. New York: PublicAffairs. P. 55.
  6. REFbook Lazarsfeld PF (2012): Working with Merton, in: The Idea of Social Structure: Papers in Honor of Robert K. Merton. Lewis A. Cosar (ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Pp. 328–9.
  7. REFjournal Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 22 August 2015; 386(9995): 743–800. PMID. PMC. DOI.
  8. REFjournal GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death, Collaborators. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 17 December 2014; 385(9963): 117–71. PMID. PMC. DOI.
  9. REFweb (2003). Iatrogenic, Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. Retrieved 12 January 2022.