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. 24, No. 3, May-June

Bioethics: Private Choice and Common Good
Almost from its start bioethics has been a child of its time, and a child of good fortune at that. In his 1954 book Medicine and Morals, Joseph Fletcher ventured the idea of personal choice as the highest moral value and the struggle against nature...
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Communities Need More Than Autonomy
The past twenty-five years have witnessed the transmutation of autonomy from a battle cry of the oppressed to a rallying cry for those who elevate certain kinds of moral commitments--those chosen voluntarily and competently--over all other moral concerns...
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Daughter of the "National Commission." (Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments; National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research)
It began in November 1993 with stories in an Albuquerque (New Mexico) newspaper about terminally ill patients who were injected with high doses of plutonium without their knowledge or consent in studies conducted under the Manhattan Project between...
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Ethical Expertise and Personal Character
We celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Hastings Center and realize how quickly a new academic and intellectual species can evolve. Today, Homo ethicus is well established in a newly recognized territory, that is, people pursue Ph.D. degrees...
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Ethics in Nursing and Health Care Reform: Back to the Future?
Reflection on the relationship of ethics in the nursing profession and current efforts to reform health care is a kaleidoscope of varied pieces and patterns. Current reform efforts at the federal and state levels point to nursing's social mandate--to...
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Framing the Health Reform Debate
President Clinton's health reform speech to Congress in September 1993 was notable in two ways. Besides being the first U.S. president since Truman to recommend a major overhaul of the American health care system, he also took care to identify the...
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In the Courts: Am I Disabled?
Am I Disabled? The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as a number of state statutes, protect against employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Under all of these measures, judicial...
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Knowing Good and Doing Good
There is an implicit assumption in the minds of the uninitiated that there exists a considerable--if not an absolute--relationship between knowing good and doing good. That certainly was the assumption this naif carried with him when, twenty-five years...
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Literature, Bioethics, and the Priestly Physician
Bioethics began with attacks on the doctor for playing God by choosing whether people die or endure long suffering. Now, we hear calls for a different physician; not one like that all-powerful God who makes decisions that result in terrible outcomes...
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On the Many Voices of Bioethics
Across the last twenty-five years, writers in the field of bioethics have concentrated chiefly on moral dilemmas that beset practitioners. They have appealed to rules and principles that will help to solve or resolve such quandaries. This caseoriented,...
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Our Vocabularies, Our Selves
David Rothman has noted that at least some of the success of the bioethics movement in this country can be attributed to fortuitous timing. In an age of great concern with civil rights, bioethicists had much "in common with the new roster of rights...
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Partners and Friends for 25 Years: My Colleague, Willard Gaylin
The twenty-fifth anniversary of The Hastings Center--whose range of interests is nicely represented in this special issue of the Report--is an occasion of pleasure, relief, and of some distress as well. The pleasure lies in the memory of so many enjoyable...
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Physicians and Ethics in Health Care Reform Debate
The desire for health care reform in the United States has been motivated by the need to provide universal health insurance coverage to all citizens while at the same time controlling the spiralling costs of the health care industry. The debate has...
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Principles for National Health Care Reform
The Ethics Working Group of the Clinton White House Health Care Task Force was assembled at the beginning of March 1993. One product of that group was a list of "Principles and Values" that the White House Domestic Policy Council published under the...
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Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities
At the core of negative procreative liberty is the idea that, as John Robertson puts it, "The burdens of unwanted pregnancy and childrearing are deemed so substantial that any competent person--married, single, adult, minor--may choose to abort up...
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Respect for Autonomy
To a great extent modern biomedical ethics emerged out of concerns about failures to respect the autonomy of patients and research subjects. Their choices often were not sought or were overridden to benefit them or others. Despite a predictable backlash...
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Reversing the Protections
The distinction between the public and the private in this symposium is, I will assume, continuous with both the communitarian-autonomy and responsibilities-rights distinctions in other symposia. I will also assume that issues about what should remain...
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Sensibility and Rationality in Bioethics
In his preface to The Liberal Imagination, Lionel Trilling remarks on John Stuart Mill's discovery of a troubling tendency in liberalism's attitude toward the sentiments and the imagination, an inclination to view the world "prosaically," which is...
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The Last Kevorkorium: Rights and Responsibilities at Death's Door
I am writing to alert you to a secret plan of the National Health Board to eliminate the country's last remaining kevorkorium, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's Lava Flow Rest. Until we at the National Ethics Action Tabernacle (NEAT) learned of it,...
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The Public Context of Private Medical Decisions
Normative standards powerfully affect the course of our lives. They guide our everyday behavior--how we drive, how we teach our students, how we respond to strangers and intimates. Our expectations about others rely on these standards as well. We assume...
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Two Cheers for Community
"I'm tired of being black," a musician recently told Donna Britt, a columnist for the Washington Post (1 March 1994). As they talked, Britt realized that the man's weariness had "less to do with blacks' treatment by whites than with how he has been...
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Voluntary Euthanasia: Private and Public Imperatives
Is suicide, as Aristotle held in the Nicomachean Ethics, an act of injustice against the city-state (unless actually required by that state, as in the case of Socrates)? Should community interest outweigh those of individuals both in barring most people...
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What Counts as Basic Health Care? Private Values and Public Policy
A firm consensus has dominated the American republic's ethos: religious and personal values belong to the realm of the private, separate from matters of public policy. The coming health care debate is about to challenge that separation. Basic health...
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Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Doe?
Good evening, everyone, it's time once again to play Bioethics Jeopardy! Tonight we have only one category on the board: What Ever Happened to--? Ready for the answer to the first question? Her friends call her "Sassy." BUZZZZZZZZ! Yes, Dan......
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Why Law and the Life Sciences?
Precisely eighteen years ago, this journal began carrying a regular feature initially entitled "Law and the Life Sciences." The column's title seemed especially apt since the Center itself was then still known officially by its since-forgotten name,...
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