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. 19, No. 1, January-February

A Case against Dutch Euthanasia
A Case Against Dutch Euthanasia Dutch general practitioners perform voluntary active euthanasia on an estimated 5,000 patients a year; the larger figure cited of 6,000 to 10,000 patients probably also includes hospital patients. However, figures as...
A Physician's Reflections
A Physician's Reflections My patient was ninety-three years old and suffering from a fairly advanced case of Alzheimer's disease. With assistance from her elderly daugther, she was able to eat and walk short distances, and, for the most part, she...
Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?
Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life? The intrinsic wrongness of directly killing the innocent, even with the victim's consent, is all but axiomatic in the Jewish and Christian worldviews that have shaped the laws and mores of Western civilization...
Can We Return Death to Disease?
Can We Return Death to Disease? Why does the interest in active euthanasia and assisted suicide seem to have taken on a renewed vitality of late?(1) The question is worth pondering; the answer is not all that obvious. It is hardly a new topic, going...
Choosing Our Future Now
Choosing Our Future Now In the increasingly heated atmosphere of debate surrounding reproductive rights, how is adequate public policy sensitive to issues of reproductive freedom and gender equality to be formulated? Reproductive Laws for the 1990s:...
Ethical Perspectives on Prospective Payment
Ethical Perspectives on Prospective Payment Dramatically rising prices in the Medicare program led Congress in 1983 to pass legislation that changed the method of reimbursement for Medicare hospital charges from a cost-based retrospective system to...
Euthanasia in the Netherlands: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Euthanasia in The Netherlands: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction As far as active, voluntary euthanasia is concerned, the Dutch sometimes feel like members of an extra-terrestrial species, being the subject of others' wild guesses and morbid fantasies....
Fashioning an Ethic for Life and Death in a Post-Modern Society
Fashioning an Ethic for Life and Death in a Post-Modern Society "It's Over, Debbie" has provoked a cluster of overlapping debates.(1) Some commentators have focused on the general issue of consent and authority to act. The vignette does not indicate...
HIV-Infected Physicians and the Practice of Seriously Invasive Procedures
HIV-Infected Physicians and the Practice of Seriously Invasive Procedures Aids is increasingly being viewed as an occupational disease for physicians despite the evidence that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is exceedingly hard to transmit in health...
Holding the Line on Euthanasia
Holding the Line on Euthanasia Most arguments against easing the legal prohibition of active euthanasia fall into one of two categories. They argue either that active euthanasia is intrinsically immoral or that the consequences of easing the restriction...
RU-486: Whose Property?
RU-486: Whose Property? As the politics of abortion in this country become increasingly confrontational and even violent, some interested parties are looking to a technological solution to the debate over the legality of abortion. Both condemnation...
The California Humane and Dignified Death Initiative
The California Humane and Dignified Death Initiative For a brief time last spring, it seemed possible--even likely--that the fall political season, almost certain to produce a stultifying presidential race, could involve a clamorous public debate...
The Challenge of Definition
The Challenge of Definition As many of you know, I've always had a problem with the term "euthanasia" itself: "good death," "happy death." For one thing, the term seems to harbor an ambivalence about the absolute value of human life and the human...
The Heart of the Matter
The Heart of the Matter A heart transplantation team at a major urban teaching hospital invariably has more candidates than hearts available to transplant. The program is known to benefit both low risk and high risk patients. Nevertheless, 30 percent...
The Impact of DRGs on Health Care Workers and Their Clients
The Impact of DRGs on Health Care Workers and Their Clients It has been clear for some time that the United States has needed to come up with a system for allocating its health care resources. DRGs, as an attempt at cost containment, however, are...
The Insane Root Takes Reason Prisoner
The Insane Root Takes Reason Prisoner On a clear, cool January night in 1983, Nancy Cruzan, then twenty-five years old, was driving alone on a Missouri country road when, for reasons unknown, she drove off the road and was hurled from her car. She...
The Limits of Moral Objectivity
The Limits of Moral Objectivity It is commonly agreed that life-sustaining treatment decisions should be oriented by the voice of the patient. But when that voice falls silent and is nowhere recorded, from what direction and source should medical...
The Theologic Ethics of Euthanasia
The Theologic Ethics of Euthanasia As Easter approached, the contrast of the two pronouncements kept going through my mind: I injected the morphine intravenously...within seconds her breathing slowed to a normal rate. Her eyes closed and her features...
Who Will Guard the Guardians?
Who Will Guard the Guardians? Socrates, in Plato's Republic, declares that no one need be appointed to check the decisions of the guardians, for they will have such a passion for knowledge and understanding that they will necessarily realize the Good....
Why Cases Sometimes Go Wrong
Why Cases Sometimes Go Wrong Consultation? Case review? Counseling? Case discussion? The lack of a single term to characterize ethics committee reviews of difficult questions that arise in the care of patients suggests that there is no single...