This collection of thirty-one cases and commentaries addresses ethical problems commonly encountered by the average health care professional, not just those working on such high-tech specialties as organ transplants or genetic engineering. It deals with familiar issues that are rarely considered in ethics casebooks, including such fundamental matters as informed consent, patient decision-making capacity, the role of the family, and end-of-life decisions. It also provides resources for basic but neglected ethical issues involving placement decisions for elderly or technologically dependent patients, rehabilitation care, confidentiality regarding AIDS, professional responsibility, and organizational and institutional ethics. The authors describe in detail the perspectives of each party to the case, the kind of language that ethicists use to discuss the issues, and the outcome of the case. A short bibliography suggests useful articles for further reading or curriculum development. Easily understood by readers with no prior training in ethics, this book offers guidance on everyday problems from across the broad continuum of care.
It will be valuable for health-care professionals, hospital ethics committees, and for students preparing for careers in health-care professions.
Mark G. Kuczewski is the Father Michael I. English, SJ Professor of Medical Ethics and director of the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Rosa Lynn B. Pinkus is the director of the Consortium Ethics Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the lead author of Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule and Risk.