At twelve, Howard Dully was guilty of the same crimes as other boys his age: he was moody and messy, rambunctious with his brothers, contrary just to prove a point, and perpetually at odds with his parents. Yet somehow, this normal boy became one of the youngest people on whom Dr. Walter Freeman performed his barbaric transorbital—or ice pick—lobotomy.
Abandoned by his family within a year of the surgery, Howard spent his teen years in mental institutions, his twenties in jail, and his thirties in a bottle. It wasn’t until he was in his forties that Howard began to pull his life together. But even as he began to live the “normal” life he had been denied, Howard struggled with one question: Why?
There were only three people who would know the truth: Freeman, the man who performed the procedure; Lou, his cold and demanding stepmother who brought Howard to the doctor’s attention; and his father, Rodney. Of the three, only Rodney, the man who hadn’t intervened on his son’s behalf, was still living. Time was running out. Stable and happy for the first time in decades, Howard began to search for answers.Through his research, Howard met other lobotomy patients and their families, talked with one of Freeman’s sons about his father’s controversial life’s work, and confronted Rodney about his complicity. And, in the archive where the doctor’s files are stored, he finally came face to face with the truth.
Revealing what happened to a child no one—not his father, not the medical community, not the state—was willing to protect, My Lobotomy exposes a shameful chapter in the history of the treatment of mental illness. Yet, ultimately, this is a powerful and moving chronicle of the life of one man.
Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we will soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may enable us to manipulate our nature--to enhance our genetic traits and those of our children. Although most people find at least some forms of genetic engineering disquieting, it is not easy to articulate why. What is wrong with re-engineering our nature?
"The Case against Perfection" explores these and other moral quandaries connected with the quest to perfect ourselves and our children. Michael Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. The drive to enhance human nature through genetic technologies is objectionable because it represents a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. Carrying us beyond familiar terms of political discourse, this book contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda.
In order to grapple with the ethics of enhancement, we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the modern world. Since these questions verge on theology, modern philosophers and political theorists tend to shrink from them. But our new powers of biotechnology make these questions unavoidable. Addressing them is the task of this book, by one of America's preeminent moral and political thinkers.
This third edition is revised and updated and includes discussions of several landmark cases, including the tragic stories of Terri Schiavo and Jesse Gelsinger (the first death caused by genetic research). Devettere addresses new topics such as partial-birth abortion law, embryonic stem cell research, infant euthanasia in The Netherlands, recent Vatican statements on feeding tubes, organ donation after cardiac death, new developments in artificial hearts, clinical trials developed by pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs, ghostwritten scientific articles published in major medical journals, and controversial HIV/AIDS research in Africa. This edition also includes a new chapter on the latest social and political issues in American health care.
Devettere’s engaging text relies on commonsense moral concepts and avoids academic jargon. It includes a glossary of legal, medical, and ethical terms; an index of cases; and thoroughly updated bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter that offer resources for further reading. It is a true classic, brilliantly conceived and executed, and is now even more valuable to undergraduates and graduate students, medical students, health care professionals, hospital ethics committees and institutional review boards, and general readers interested in philosophy, medicine, and the rapidly changing field of health care ethics.
The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations. Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns. Edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism, The Transhumanist Reader is an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature.
All these problems have been shielded from public scrutiny because they're too complex to capture in a sound bite. But Ben Goldacre shows that the true scale of this murderous disaster fully reveals itself only when the details are untangled. He believes we should all be able to understand precisely how data manipulation works and how research misconduct in the medical industry affects us on a global scale.
With Goldacre's characteristic flair and a forensic attention to detail, Bad Pharma reveals a shockingly broken system and calls for regulation. This is the pharmaceutical industry as it has never been seen before.
No one could believe that the handsome young doctor might be a serial killer. Wherever he was hired—in Ohio, Illinois, New York, South Dakota—Michael Swango at first seemed the model physician. Then his patients began dying under suspicious circumstances.
At once a gripping read and a hard-hitting look at the inner workings of the American medical system, Blind Eye describes a professional hierarchy where doctors repeatedly accept the word of fellow physicians over that of nurses, hospital employees, and patients—even as horrible truths begin to emerge. With the prodigious investigative reporting that has defined his Pulitzer Prize–winning career, James B. Stewart has tracked down survivors, relatives of victims, and shaken coworkers to unearth the evidence that may finally lead to Swango’s conviction.
Combining meticulous research with spellbinding prose, Stewart has written a shocking chronicle of a psychopathic doctor and of the medical establishment that chose to turn a blind eye on his criminal activities.
Drawing on his background in statistics, epidemiology, and health policy, John Abramson, M.D., reveals the ways in which the drug companies have misrepresented statistical evidence, misled doctors, and compromised our health. The good news is that the best scientific evidence shows that reclaiming responsibility for your own health is often far more effective than taking the latest blockbuster drug.
You—and your doctor—will be stunned by this unflinching exposé of American medicine.
It is now evident that the "illegal biologicals" he referred to included the pathogenic agents which have led to the AIDS epidemic and other world health crisis.
In The Extremely Unfortunate Skull Valley Incident the authors trace history of the secret war against and the terrible experiments performed upon their own citizens as well as the Third World populations. But Skull Valley does more than that. In their research the father-son team discovered the links between AIDS and many other diseases now increasing dramatically worldwide. Chief among these is myalgic encephalomyelitis/fibromyalgia dismissively labelled " chronic fatigue syndrome" by the government researchers.
In addition to AIDS and ME/FM the Scotts also demonstrate the etiological links to other neurosystemic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, diabetes, schizophrenia, Crohn's-colitis, etc. All are said to be "of no known cause and having no known cure". Researchers Donald and William Scott have discovered that there is a "known cause" and there may well be a cure.
The cause is a little known organism called the "mycoplasma" which has the capacity to access genetically pre-disposed cells and to destroy them by up-taking pre-formed sterols. This process is the "degeneration" which characterizes all of the diseases under study. When the cells of the endocrine system are destroyed by a sufficient concentration of mycoplasmas, the balance of the physiological balance is altered and the immune system loses its ability to defend the infected victim, and co-factors such as the human immune-deficiency virus (HIV), and those with cause pneumonia, are free to have their way, leading to full-blown AIDS.
"... a fascinating dissection of almost every aspect of the doctor-patient relationship.... strongly recommended reading for all health care workers interested in this rapidly evolving field."Â -- Queen's Quarterly
"This outstanding discussion of important current medical issues is a valuable addition to academic and professional libraries." -- Choice
"... an important contribution to bioethics... certain to provoke controversy in the field."Â -- Medical Humanities Review
"Lucid and well-argued... " -- Religious Studies Review
This book heralds the imminent demise of "doctor knows best." In it, Robert M. Veatch proposes a postmodern medicine in which decisions about patient care will routinely involve both doctor and patient -- not only in ethically complex cases such as the termination of life-sustaining treatment, but in everyday care as well.
A haunting, deeply compassionate book—now revised with a new introduction—Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.
Wondergenes is a serious, accessible introduction to the social and personal implications of genetic engineering. Mehlman weighs the social and economic costs of the many proposals to regulate or limit genetic engineering and provides six concrete policy recommendations -- from professional licensing to a ban on germ-line enhancement -- that propose to make the future of genetic enhancement more equitable and safe.
In Ethical Foundations of Palliative Care for Alzheimer Disease, leading ethicists and clinicians from the United States and Europe explore ethical and scientific concerns about the diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer disease, challenges arising from applying palliative procedures to its symptoms, key philosophical and theological concepts central to our understanding of the disease and to end-of-life decisions, and the changing patterns of relevant medical, social, and economic policies. Cross-cultural, multidisciplinary, and state-of-the-art, this volume is a unique and important resource for bioethicists, clinicians, and policy makers everywhere.
Contributors: David A. Bennahum, M.D., University of New Mexico; Pierre Boitte, Ph.D., Catholic University of Lille, France; Roger A. Brumback, M.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Wim J. M. Dekkers, M.D., Ph.D., University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Elizabeth Furlong, R.N., Ph.D., J.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Eugenijus Gefenas, M.D., Ph.D., Vilnius University, Lithuania; Bert Gordijn, Ph.D., University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Amy M. Haddad, R.N., Ph.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Søren Holm, M.D., Ph.D., Dr.Med.Sci., University of Manchester; Franz J. Illhardt, D.D., Ph.D., Freiburg University; Rien Janssens, Ph.D., University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Givi Javashvili, M.D., Ph.D., State Medical Academy of Georgia, Tbilisi; Judith Lee Kissell, Ph.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Gunilla Nordenram, D.D.S., Ph.D., Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Richard L. O'Brien, M.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Marcel G. M. Olde Rikkert, M.D., Ph.D., University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Winifred J. Ellenchild Pinch, R.N., Ed.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Patricio F. Reyes, M.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Anne-Sophie Rigaud, M.D., Ph.D., Hôpital Broca, Paris; Linda S. Scheirton, Ph.D., Creighton University Medical Center; Jos V. M. Welie, M.Med.S., J.D., Ph.D., Creighton University Medical Center.
In issues ranging from ordinary chairside decision making to HIV/AIDS and ethical business practices, the first edition of this book has guided thousands of dentists, dental hygienists, students, and other oral health care practitioners to an understanding of the essential practice of ethics.
Now a revised, updated, and expanded edition of Dental Ethics at Chairside responds to the challenges of oral health care in the new century with chapters on managed care, confidentiality and electronic record-keeping, among other important topics.
Maxwell J. Mehlman considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. He addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers. However, Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think, and that we need to encourage risk-management efforts.
Whether scientists are dubious or optimistic about the prospects for directed evolution, they tend to agree on two things. First, however long it takes to perfect the necessary technology, it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future, and second, in the process of learning how to direct evolution, we are bound to make mistakes. Our responsibility is to learn how to balance innovation with caution.-- Michael A. Goldman
Rather than challenging authority, she says, the bioethics movement was an aid to authority, in that it allowed medical doctors and researchers to proceed on course while bioethicists managed public fears about medicine's new technologies. That is, the public was reassured by bioethical oversight of biomedicine; in reality, however, bioethicists belonged to the same mainstream that produced the doctors and researchers whom the bioethicists were guiding.
In recent years, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough among children in California, mumps in New York, and measles in Ohio's Amish country—despite the fact that these are all vaccine-preventable diseases. Although America is the most medically advanced place in the world, many people disregard modern medicine in favor of using their faith to fight life threatening illnesses. Christian Scientists pray for healing instead of going to the doctor, Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish mohels spread herpes by using a primitive ritual to clean the wound. Tragically, children suffer and die every year from treatable diseases, and in most states it is legal for parents to deny their children care for religious reasons. In twenty-first century America, how could this be happening?
In Bad Faith, acclaimed physician and author Dr. Paul Offit gives readers a never-before-seen look into the minds of those who choose to medically martyr themselves, or their children, in the name of religion. Offit chronicles the stories of these faithful and their children, whose devastating experiences highlight the tangled relationship between religion and medicine in America. Religious or not, this issue reaches everyone—whether you are seeking treatment at a Catholic hospital or trying to keep your kids safe from diseases spread by their unvaccinated peers.
Replete with vivid storytelling and complex, compelling characters, Bad Faith makes a strenuous case that denying medicine to children in the name of religion isn't just unwise and immoral, but a rejection of the very best aspects of what belief itself has to offer.
A haunting, deeply compassionate book—now revised with a new introduction—Mad in America raises important questions about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.
Examining the tension between incompetent patients' prior wishes and their current best interests as well as other challenges to advance directives, Robert S. Olick offers a comprehensive argument for favoring advance instructions during the dying process. He clarifies widespread confusion about the moral and legal weight of advance directives, and he prescribes changes in law, policy, and practice that would not only ensure that directives count in the care of the dying but also would define narrow instances when directives should not be followed. Olick also presents and develops an original theory of prospective autonomy that recasts and strengthens patient and family control.
While focusing largely on philosophical issues the book devotes substantial attention to legal and policy questions and includes case studies throughout. An important resource for medical ethicists, lawyers, physicians, nurses, health care professionals, and patients' rights advocates, it champions the practical, ethical, and humane duty of taking advance directives seriously where it matters most-at the bedside of dying patients.
* Is suicide a voluntary act?
* Should physicians be permitted to prevent it?
* Should they be authorized to abet it?
The author's thoughtful analysis of these questions consistently holds forth patient autonomy as paramount; therefore, he argues, patients should not be prevented from exercising their free will, nor should physicians be permitted to enter the process by prescribing or providing the means for voluntary death.
Dr. Szasz predicts that we will look back at our present prohibitory policies toward suicide with the same amazed disapproval with which we regard past policies toward homosexuality, masturbation, and birth control. This comparison with other practices that started as sins, became crimes, then were regarded as mental illnesses, and are now becoming more widely accepted, opens up the discussion and understanding of suicide in a historical context. The book explores attitudes toward suicide held by the ancient Greeks and Romans, through early Christianity and the Reformation, to the advent of modern psychiatry and contemporary society as a whole. Our tendency to define disapproved behaviors as diseases has created a psychiatric establishment that exerts far too much influence over how and when we choose to die. Just as we have come to accept the individual's right to birth control, so too must we accept his right to death control before we can call our society humane or free.
Each chapter has a uniform structure which makes it ideal for use in learning and teaching. "10 Things You Need to Know About..." introduces the key points of the topic, Setting the Scene explains where the issues occur in real life and why doctors need to understand them, and then key definitions are followed by explanations of different scenarios. The book uses real cases to illustrate points and summary boxes to highlight key issues throughout.
Whilst maintaining its rigorous attention to detail, Everyday Medical Ethics and Law is an easy read reference book for busy, practising doctors.
Humans have engaged in biological self-improvement since long before recorded history, from the impotence-curing wild lotus brew of the ancient Egyptians to the herbal energy drink favored by early Olympians. Now biomedical enhancements are pushing the boundaries of possibility and acceptability. Where do we draw the line? How do we know the true ramifications of pioneering medicine? What price are we willing to pay for perfection?
Maxwell J. Mehlman’s provocative examination of these issues speaks to fundamental questions of what it means to be human. He finds public officials ill-equipped to handle the ethical, scientific, and public policy quandaries of biomedical enhancement. Instead of engaging difficult questions of morality, access, fairness, and freedom, elected officials have crafted toothless and counterproductive laws and regulations.
Mehlman outlines policy options to boost the societal benefits and minimize the risks from these technologies. In the process, he urges the public to face the ethical issues surrounding biomedical enhancement, lest our quest for perfection compromise our very humanity.
"Insightful and thought-provoking.... As Caplan has demonstrated so clearly... we would all be better off if the ethicists spoke first and not last." -- The Washington Post
"Caplan's views are important and instructive.... [This] book represents some of his best work." -- New England Journal of Medicine
"Caplan's [book] is thought provoking, insightful, and well argued. I recommend it highly."Â -- The Journal of the American Medical Association
"... a generously illustrated discourse on method in medical and practical ethics." -- Ethics
A member of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform examines some of the most controversial biomedical issues of our time.
Drawing on the work of authors such as Oliver Sacks, Anatole Broyard, Norman Cousins, and Audre Lorde, as well as from people he met during the years he spent among different illness groups, Frank recounts a stirring collection of illness stories, ranging from the well-known—Gilda Radner's battle with ovarian cancer—to the private testimonials of people with cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and disabilities. Their stories are more than accounts of personal suffering: they abound with moral choices and point to a social ethic.
In this new edition Frank adds a preface describing the personal and cultural times when the first edition was written. His new afterword extends the book’s argument significantly, writing about storytelling and experience, other modes of illness narration, and a version of hope that is both realistic and aspirational. Reflecting on both his own life during the creation of the first edition and the conclusions of the book itself, Frank reminds us of the power of storytelling as way to understanding our own suffering.
Bacillus anthracis is lethal. Animals killed by the disease are buried deep underground, where anthrax spores remain viable for decades or even centuries and, if accidentally disturbed, can cause new infections. But anthrax can be deliberately aerosolized and used to kill—as it was in the United States in 2001.
Historian and veterinarian Susan D. Jones recounts the life story of anthrax through the biology of the bacillus; the political, economic, geographic, and scientific factors that affect anthrax prevalance; and the cultural beliefs about the disease that have shaped human responses to it. She explains how Bacillus anthracis became domesticated, discusses what researchers have learned from numerous outbreaks, and analyzes how the bacillus came to be weaponized and what this development means for the modern world.
Jones compellingly narrates the biography of this frightfully hardy disease from the ancient world through the present day.
Most people rarely think about their height beyond a little wishing and hoping. But for the parents of children who are ridiculed by their peers for being extraordinarily tall or extraordinarily short, height can cause great anguish. For decades, the medical establishment has responded to these worries by prescribing controversial treatments and therapies for children who fall outside of the ?normal? height range. While some have benefited, many have suffered from devastating side effects.
In this riveting book, Susan Cohen and Christine Cosgrove provide a voice for the parents, doctors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies involved in these experimental treatments. They also tell the story of the boys and girls themselves, many of them now grown, who were subjected to a wide range of non-FDA-approved medical procedures. These treatments? which consisted of extreme doses of estrogen, pituitary glands taken from both animals and human cadavers, and testosterone injections?often had disastrous side effects.
Who is to say how tall is too tall, and how short is too short? For many of the individuals represented in this book, the answers have been clear?and they are grateful to the medical industry for improving upon nature. For others, left in the wake of this same science, the answers are fueled by tragic regret. The authors explore the dueling motives behind these procedures? with parents desperate to help their children ?fit in? and doctors and scientists hungry for scientific breakthroughs. Combining extensive research and in-depth interviews, Normal at Any Cost is the first book to place a human face on this complex and ethically charged medical history.
"The prospect of being the human parts drawer society reaches into to cure its neediest patients would drive anyone mad." - Kelsey Reed, Life First
Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.
She’ll need the help of her true love, Luke, to make this dangerous escape. This dystopian future Kelsey lives in was forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population. Here, life is valued above all else. The mentally ill are sterilized, abortions are illegal and those who refuse to donate an organ when told are sentenced to death.
Determined not to give up her kidney or die, Kelsey and Luke enlists the help of a dodgy doctor to escape. The trio must disable the tracking chip in Kelsey's arm for her to flee undetected. If they fail, Kelsey could be stripped of Luke, her kidney and everything else she holds dear.
This page-turning thriller with a touch of romance, is the first in the Life First dystopian book series. The thrills and romance continue in our dystopian future in Second Life (book 2 of the series) and Third Life: Taken (book 3 of the series).
* * *
"Life First is a poignant, riveting, thought provoking read that had me entranced from page one until the very end of the book."
-- 5 Stars, Griffin's Honey Blog
"Life First gripped you like King Kong and would not let go until you had finished the book."
~ A 2014 B&P Reader's Choice Award Nominee ~
~ BRAG Medallion winner ~
In Shrink Rap, three psychiatrists from different specialties provide frank answers to questions such as:
• What is psychotherapy, how does it work, and why don't all psychiatrists do it?• When are medications helpful?• What happens on a psychiatric unit?• Can Prozac make people suicidal?• Why do many doctors not like Xanax?• Why do we have an insanity defense?• Why do people confess to crimes they didn't commit?
Based on the authors’ hugely popular blog and podcast series, this book is for patients and everyone else who is curious about how psychiatrists work. Using compelling patient vignettes, Shrink Rap explains how psychiatrists think about and address the problems they encounter, from the mundane (how much to charge) to the controversial (involuntary hospitalization). The authors face the field’s shortcomings head-on, revealing what other doctors may not admit about practicing psychiatry.
Candid and humorous, Shrink Rap gives a closeup view of psychiatry, peering into technology, treatments, and the business of the field. If you've ever wondered how psychiatry really works, let the Shrink Rappers explain.
Doctor, Please Help Me Die traces the history of patients seeking relief from suffering at the end of life and discusses how cultural and professional customs have inhibited many doctors from helping their patients at the end. Preston shows how most doctors fail their patients by not discussing dying with them and by refusing to consider legal physician aid in dying—ultimately deceiving the public in their refusal to help patients die. He discusses the religious, political, and legal battles in this part of the culture war and gives advice to patients on how to gain peaceful dying.
Preston presents a strong argument for why every citizen who is dying ought to be extended an inalienable right to die peacefully, and why every physician has an ethical obligation to assist patients who want to exercise this right safely, securely, and painlessly.
Here it is - the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete summary of what Catholics around the world commonly believe.
The Catechism draws on the Bible, the Mass, the Sacraments, Church tradition and teaching, and the lives of saints. It comes with a complete index, footnotes and cross-references for a fuller understanding of every subject. The word catechism means "instruction" - this book will serve as the standard for all future catechisms.
Using the tradition of explaining what the Church believes (the Creed), what she celebrates (the Sacraments), what she lives (the Commandments), and what she prays (the Lord's Prayer), the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers challenges for believers and answers for all those interested in learning about the mystery of the Catholic faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a positive, coherent and contemporary map for our spiritual journey toward transformation.
The authors assert that a dramatic shift in societal attitudes toward newborns and their medical care was a stimulus for and then a result of developments in the medical care of newborns. They divide their analysis into three eras of neonatal intensive care. The first, characterized by the rapid advance of medical technology from the late 1960s to the Baby Doe case of 1982, established neonatal care as a legitimate specialty of medical care, separate from the rest of pediatrics and medicine. During this era, legal scholars and moral philosophers debated the relative importance of parental autonomy, clinical prognosis, and children's rights.
The second era, beginning with the Baby Doe case (a legal battle that spurred legislation mandating that infants with debilitating birth defects be treated unless the attending physician deems efforts to prolong life "futile"), stimulated efforts to establish a consistent federal standard on neonatal care decisions and raised important moral questions concerning the meaning of "futility" and of "inhumane" treatment. In the third era, a consistent set of decision-making criteria and policies was established. These policies were the result of the synergy and harmonization of newly agreed upon ethical principles and newly discovered epidemiological characteristics of neonatal care.
Tracing the field's recent history, notable advances, and considerable challenges yet to be faced, the authors present neonatal bioethics as a paradigm of complex conversation among physicians, philosophers, policy makers, judges, and legislators which has led to responsible societal oversight of a controversial medical innovation.
Humanitarian relief workers, writes David Rieff, are the last of the just. And in the Bosnias, the Rwandas, and the Afghanistans of this world, humanitarianism remains the vocation of helping people when they most desperately need help, when they have lost or stand at risk of losing everything they have, including their lives.
Although humanitarianism's accomplishments have been tremendous, including saving countless lives, the lesson of the past ten years of civil wars and ethnic cleansing is that it can do only so much to alleviate suffering. Aid workers have discovered that while trying to do good, their efforts may also cause harm.
Drawing on firsthand reporting from hot war zones around the world -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, and most recently Afghanistan -- Rieff describes how the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Oxfam, and other humanitarian organizations have moved from their founding principle of political neutrality, which gave them access to victims of wars, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing.
This advocacy has come at a high price. By calling for intervention -- whether by the United Nations or by "coalitions of the willing" -- humanitarian organizations risk being seen as taking sides in a conflict and thus jeopardizing their access to victims. And by overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, at times becoming a fig leaf for actions those powers wish to take for their own interests, or for the major powers' inaction. Rieff concludes that if humanitarian organizations are to do what they do best -- alleviate suffering -- they must reclaim their independence.
Except for relief workers themselves, no one has looked at humanitarian action as seriously or as unflinchingly, or has had such unparalleled access to its inner workings, as Rieff, who has traveled and lived with aid workers over many years and four continents.
A cogent, hard-hitting report from the front lines, A Bed for the Night shows what international aid organizations must do if they are to continue to care for the victims of humanitarian disasters.