The Hastings Center Report

The Hastings Center Report is a bimonthly magazine addressing ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences for an audience of physicians and other health care practitioners, attorneys and professionals in business and academia. Founded in Feb. of 1971, The Hastings Center publishes this magazine. Subjects for the Hastings Center Report are medicine and surgery. The Managing Editor is Joyce Griffin. Gregory E. Kaebnick is the Editor.

Articles from Vol. 18, No. 4, August-September

AIDS, Judges, and the Right to Medical Care
AIDS, Judges, and the Right to Medical Care The AIDS epidemic continues to bring to public attention major problems in our medical care system. One central question is whether there is a "right to medical care," and if so, what it means for AIDS...
Animals in the Classroom
Animal in the Classroom Issues concerning the proper use of animals in the classroom setting drew considerable attention recently when a high school sophomore refused to dissect a frog in her biology class ("Apples, Frogs, and Animal Rights," Science,...
A Resounding No to Commercial Surrogacy
A Resounding No to Commercial Surrogacy When four bills embodying different approaches to surrogate motherhood were introduced in the New York State legislature in 1987, Governor Mario Cuomo asked the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law...
Bad Axioms in Genetic Engineering
Bad Axioms in Genetic Engineering The parade of wonders mounted by biological science marches by at an increasinly rapid race. In a kind of mimicry of Genesis, we have synthesized a living, functioning gene from shelf chemicals in the laboratory....
Biomedical Value Conflict
Biomedical Value Conflict Western medicine and clinical practice draws much of its legitimacy, authority, and efficacy from a scientific tradition that makes claims to a universal validity. There is, however, another dimension to the practice of...
Doing Ethics in Italy
Doing Ethics in Italy Italy has been the site for a recent flurry of international conferences on bioethics involving Hastings Center staff. Strachan Donnelley, the Center's director of education, participated in a four-day meeting in February 1988...
Don't Let My Baby Be like Me
Don't Let My Baby Be Like Me Paul G. lives in a small town over three hours' drive from the nearest major city. As a young child he was taken to a hospital in the city because o his grossly deformed hands and arms and his repeated passage of large,...
Ethics and the Daily Language of Medical Discourse
Ethics and the Daily Language of Medical Discourse Medicine is and always has been a profession that relies heavily on narrative. [1] Considerable writing has been done about the psychiatric case study as literature, but the medical case report can...
Ethics Committees in Nursing Homes: Applying the Hospital Experience
Ethics Committees in Nursing Homes: Applying the Hospital Experience The need to develop effective methods for addressing ethical issues in clinical care is even greater in nursing homes than acute care hospitals. Institutionalization in itself raises...
Ethics, Medicine, and Health in South Africa
Ethics, Medicine, and Health in South Africa In many countries throughout the world, the health care professions and society as a whole are increasingly being confronted with ethical dilemmas. The spectrum of problems may be very similar across countries,...
History, Infanticide, and Imperiled Newborns
History, Infanticide, and Imperiled Newborns One of the most prominent dilemmas in neonatal intensive care is whether, once the decision not to prolong life has been made, active killing of newborns should be permitted. Medical ethicists have sharply...
How Should Ethics Committees Treat Advance Directives?
How Should Ethics Committees Treat Advance Directives? The increasing popularity of advance directives among patients and strong support for their use from legislatures, courts, and ethicists means that ethics committees will encounter them with increasing...
In Colombia, Dealing with Death and Technology
In Colombia, Dealing with Death and Technology Ever since Hippocrates inspired the medical profession with the noblest ethical values, the history of medicine has been interwoven with professional ideals, moral standards, and issues of conscience....
In France, Terminal Stage Medicine Is Not Hopelessly Ill
In France, Terminal Stage Medicine Is Not Hopelessly III In France, decisions regarding care for the terminally ill have produced a great deal of conflict for physicians and patients in many areas. Physicians must weigh their traditional obligations...
In Greece, Lament for the Dead, Denial for the Dying
In Greece, Lament for the Dead, Denial for the Dying Death in Greek folk culture is thought of as something dreadful, as "ugliness," "darkness," "chaos," blackness"--"My name is black cobwebbed earth." Life is accordingly often described as "silver...
In Sweden, Questioning the Model of Compromise
In Sweden, Questioning the Model of Compromise Sweden is in many ways a homogeneous and politically stable country. It has a centralized government, meaning that more political and legal decisions are made by the central government and the ministries...
International Perspectives on Biomedical Ethics
International Perspectives on Biomedical Ethics One of the favorite old saws of philosophers is the theme of universals and particulars. "Universal forms," say "whiteness" or "catness," in one way or another are involved with particular worldly entities,...
In Uruguay, an Ethic of Care for the Dying
In Uruguay, an Ethic of Care for the Dying Perhaps the most striking point to be made about biomedical ethics in Uruguay is that there has been insufficient interest on the part of the medical community to engage in systematic reflection or to set...
Is Case Consultation in Retreat?
Is Case Consultation in Retreat? Institutional ethics committees are growing in numbers and popularity. As they proliferate, some suggest they are backing away from their distinctive function of case consultation. Committee members from around the...
Justice and the Economics of Terminal Illness
Justice and the Economics of Terminal Illness The costs of medical care have reached a level that can no longer be ignored: $1.25 billion a day in the United States. The expenditures for health care as a proportion of GNP are now almost 11 percent....
Making Policy by Committee
Making Policy by Committee Are ethics committees well-suited to devising policies? Thomas Murray has doubts. [1] As an example of problems committees are likely to face in developing policies, he cites the efforts of one committee to deal with refusal...
Network across America
Networks Across America The special needs of ethics committees in rural hospitals provide the primary focus for the work of the Vermont/New Hampshire Network of institutional ethics committees. Foundations for the Network were laid in the mid-1980s...
Professional Turmoil in Hungary
Professional Turmoil in Hungary Taxing Tips. Interwoven in the health care system of most socialist countries is the practice of tipping, a phenomenon in which patients or their relatives give money, gifts, or various favors to physicians either...
Revolution, Reform or Education?
Revolution, Reform, or Education? On November 30, 1987 the radical environmental group Earth First! spread rock salt on strawberry plants in the field site where, two days later, Advanced Genetic Sciences of Oakland was to test genetically engineered...
Spain: New Problems, New Books
Spain: New Problems, New Books In some countries "practical philosphy," that is, philosophical reflection about ethics and politics, is in fashion. Spain is one of them. Since adopting democracy in 1975, and joining the European Common Market in...
The Nazi Analogy on Bioethics
The Analogy in Bioethnics Commentary by Nat Hentoff The Nazi Analogy in Bioethics To say that certain contemporary bioethicists and members of the laity sometimes approach the solving of life-or-death problems as the Nazis did in no way...
The Philadelphia Story
The Philadelphia Story The Delaware Valley Ethics Committee Network (DVECN) recently celebrated its first anniversary. The organization is a cooperative venture among regional institutional ethics committees. The Hastings Center, and the College...
The Rome Bioethics Summit
The Rome Bioethics Summit International analysis and direct government involvement, two phenomena that have been increasingly notable in the world of bioethics in recent years, came together for a week in Rome this spring. From April 10 to 15, the...
The United Kingdom and Australia: New Titles
The United Kingdom and Australia: New Titles The last few years have seen an upsurge of interest in medical ethics outside North America, where the subject is already well established. In 1987, a number of significant publications, reflected this...
What Is the Difference between an HIV and a CBC?
What is the Difference between an HIV and a CBC? COMMENTARY by Joel D. Howell Yet hospitalized patients, like any other persons, should be asked to consent before having blood drawn to determine their HIV antibody status. One could argue, of...
When It's Really Not Optional
When It's Not Really Optional Most ethics committees follow what has come to be known as the "optional/optional" model in reviewing cases. [1] That is, the committee is not required to review a case, and its recommendation need not be followed by...