"Caplan's choice of topics is broad and his opinions challenging.... This volume will interest the general public. It is a good survey of a broad range of ethical issues, as seen by one prominent bioethicist who has thought much about the subject. Caplan's well-merited reputation as a commentator and interpreter between the scholarly and the public arena is reaffirmed in this book." -- The Washington Post
"Arthur Caplan -- with assiduous effort, unflagging energy, encyclopedic knowledge, and imposing talent -- has become America's most visible commentator on bioethics." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Arthur Caplan is perhaps the most quoted bioethicist in the US and this new collection of essays illustrates why." -- Nature Medicine
"... an important book of essays addressing the most problematic and persistent questions in the realm of contemporary bioethics. He offers a highly readable text balancing irony and incisive analysis with a palpable sense of moral urgency as he confronts a variety of subjects." -- Curtis W. Hart, BCC
"Careful consideration of some of the knottier bioethical problems of our times, by the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, who fears that cynicism and mistrust have eroded our ability to see ourselves as our brothers' keepers." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Caplan's particular skill is an ability to identify, analyze, and explain the extremely complex moral questions that grow out of changes in health care, science, and medicine." -- The New York Times Magazine
"An important critical voice for American medicine." -- The New England Journal of Medicine
"... a useful introduction to a variety of bioethical issues." -- Library Journal
In this impassioned book, Arthur L. Caplan, America's leading bioethicist, calls for an end to cynicism and mistrust in our approach to resolving health care issues. He brings this vision to discussions of some of the most exciting issues at the frontiers of medical ethics today -- including doctor-assisted suicide, gene therapy, and the headline-grabbing case of Dolly the sheep and the possibility that human beings might one day be cloned.
Topics include central questions such as evolving views of the morality and pathology of deviant behavior; patient competence and the decision to refuse treatment; recognizing and treating people who have suffered trauma; addiction as illness; the therapist's responsibility to report dangerousness despite patient confidentiality; and boundaries for the therapist's interaction with patients outside of therapy, whether in the form of tennis games, gift-giving, or social media contact. For the most part the selections address contemporary issues in contemporary terms, but the book also offers a few historic or classic essays, including Thomas S. Szasz's controversial 1971 article "The Ethics of Addiction."
ContributorsLaura Weiss Roberts, Frederic G. Reamer, Charles P. O'Brien, and Thomas McLellan
Historically one can see that health, disease, and illness are concepts that have been ever fluid. Modern science, sociology, philosophy, even society—among other factors—constantly have these issues under microscopes, learning more, defining and redefining ever more exactly. Yet often that scrutiny, instead of leading toward hard answers, only leads to more questions. Health, Disease, and Illness brings together a sterling list of classic and contemporary thinkers to examine the history, state, and future of ever-changing "concepts" in medicine.
Divided into four parts—Historical Discussions; Characterizing Health, Disease, and Illness; Clinical Applications of Health and Disease; and Normalcy, Genetic Disease, and Enhancement: The Future of the Concepts of Health and Disease—the reader can see the evolutionary arc of medical concepts from the Greek physician Galen of Pergamum (ca. 150 ce) who proposed that "the best doctor is also a philosopher," to contemporary discussions of the genome and morality. The editors have recognized a crucial need for a deeper integration of medicine and philosophy with each other, particularly in an age of dynamically changing medical science—and what it means, medically, philosophically, to be human.
The contributors argue that genetics and medicine rest on beliefs widely held in American society. Scientific progress is good, and highly sophisticated technologies are appropriate means to solving medical problems. The better understanding they gain about the nature and evolution of disease, the more prepared clinicians will be to treat and prevent future occurrence of disease. A belief that medicine, including genetic medicine, is clear, factually based, and objective undergirds the strategies and norms of genetic counseling.
This collection of original papers explores the history, values, and norms of that process, with focus on the value of non-directiveness in counseling practice. The contributors' examination of genetic counseling issues serves as a foundation from which to address the ethical, legal, and policy considerations of clinical genetics.
Written in an engaging, debate-style format for accessibility to non-specialists Features general introductions to each topic that precede scholarly debates Presents the latest, cutting-edge thoughts on relevant bioethics ideas, arguments, and debates