Standard of Care: The Law of American Bioethics

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9780195072471: Standard of Care: The Law of American Bioethics
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American law, not philosophy or medicine, is the major force shaping American bioethics. This is both because law at its best fosters individual rights, equality, and justice, and because violation of the legal duty or "standard of care" a physician owes a patient can lead to a malpractice suit. The law has therefore had two conflicting impacts on medical ethics: the positive effect of eroding paternalism and replacing it with a patient-centered ethic; and the negative effect of encouraging physicians to be more concerned with avoiding litigation than doing the "right" thing.

Standard of Care explores the fundamental value conflicts confronting medicine and society by examining courtroom resolutions of real bioethical disputes, often of constitutional dimension. This case-based approach, which ranges from abortion to euthanasia, from AIDS to organ transplantation, from genetic research to the artificial heart and rationing, illuminates the value choices with which the power (and impotence) of medicine confronts us. George Annas urges health care professionals to go beyond the minimalist legal "standard of care" by promoting a vigorous, patient-centered medical ethics based on respect for human rights and responsibility to both patients and society. If modern medicine is to enhance human life, a reconceptualization of law as the beginning of ethical discourse, rather than as an instrument to end it, is essential. Such a discourse could enrich all our lives by helping us to articulate both a national and international agenda for human rights in health.

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About the Author:


George Annas, J.D., M.P.H., is the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law, and Director of the Law, Medicine and Ethics Program, Boston University Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Law. He wrote a regular feature on health law and bioethics for The Hastings Center Report from 1976 to 1991, and since then has written regularly on "Legal Issues in Medicine" for the New England Journal of Medicine.

Review:

"Annas . . . is one of the top bioethicists in the US. . . . covers a wide range of issues in bioethics and the law. Every essay is interesting, important, and finely crafted. . . . highly recommended." --Choice

"Skillfully written in a clear, deliberate, fast-moving style. . . . recommended." --Burleigh Trevor-Deutsch, PhD, LLB, Canadian Medical Association Journal

"Standard of Care brings together Annas's best essays in a well-organized and superbly crafted book that focuses on the most compelling ethical and legal issues of our time . . . . exceptionally well annotated, reflecting extensive research. Annas's lucid and cogent discussions draw from the
legal, ethical, philosophical, sociopolitical, and economic literature . . . .Annas's thoughtfulness and intelligence are evident . . . . a pleasure to read. Annas is both concise and thorough. For those in the field of bioethics, this book is a must." --Theodore LeBlang, The New England Journal
of Medicine

"This book is nothing if not up to date. But it is more. . . . the discussions are articulate, well researched, and clearly thought through. . . . puts the ethical basis of a host of modern medical problems in a legal setting that clarifies, not confuses, extraordinarily complex issues. It is
understandable; it tells it like it is. Buy it." --JAMA

"The book is well structured and carefully organized. References are pertinent and adequate. . . . contributes significantly to bioethics literature." --Diane Kondratowicz, MA, AM (Loyola Univ Medical Center), Doody's Journal

"This collection is a monument to the genre of constitutional rights-based health law writing in America....Part one perhaps best illustrates Annas's strength - subjecting judicial reasoning to piquant analysis and framing certain practices in starkly provocative terms...." --Dermot K. Feenan,
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

"A lively, insightful, and thought-provoking critique of our society's resort to law for the resolution of a variety of contemporary bioethical dilemmas....Along with intellectual incisiveness, the author brings humanity and compassion to his subjects....A true literary pleasure, both because
the author's writing style is clear and engaging and because the essays are rich in literary allusions and analogies....A valuable contribution to the field....I highly recommend the book for anyone-lay or professional-who wishes to deepern his or her understanding of American bioethics." --Charity
Scott, JD, American Journal of Preventive Medicine

"Recommended as a book that alerts the reader to the wide-ranging debate concerning the interface between law, medicine and ethics. At the same time, it provides some guidelines for future legal decision-making in respect of these difficult issues." --Peter J.M. McFarlane, Faculty of Law,
Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Bioethics

"Annas...is one of the top bioethicists in the US.... covers a wide range of issues in bioethics and the law. Every essay is interesting, important, and finely crafted.... highly recommended." --Choice

"Skillfully written in a clear, deliberate, fast-moving style.... recommended." --Burleigh Trevor-Deutsch, PhD, LLB, Canadian Medical Association Journal

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9780195120066: Standard of Care: The Law of American Bioethics

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ISBN 10:  019512006X ISBN 13:  9780195120066
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 1997
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