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. 37, No. 5, September-October

Bioethics Made Rigorous
Against Bioethics. By Jonathan Baron. MIT Press, 2006. 248 pages. Harcover, $29.00. The beginning of an ambitious and important project, Jonathan Baron's Against Bioethics aims to dispense with endlessly ambiguous applications of principles and...
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Compromise
The cases you never forget are the young ones, because they are the hardest to let go. Karyn Woods was thirty-one years old and dying. Three different medications raised her blood pressure to a barely safe range; the ventilator delivered higher...
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Disability and Slippery Slopes
Just as with Terri Schiavo's case, I have wondered how Ashley's case came to be framed as a "disability rights" issue. As is now well known, Ashley is a profoundly cognitively and developmentally impaired nine year old whose parents obtained medical...
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Freedom's Not Just Another Word
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," crooned Janis Joplin in her raspy rendition of "Me and Bobby McGee." Would that it were so simple. Because freedom--arguably a bedrock American value--is hardly "just another word." Despite the...
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Getting over the Denial of Aging
The Denial of Aging: Perpetual Youth, Eternal Life, and Other Dangerous Fantasies. By Muriel R. Gillick. Harvard University Press, 2006. 341 pages. Hardcover, $25.95. There's an old vaudeville joke that goes "Denial is not just the name of a river...
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Global Climate Change: The Roberts Court and Environmental Justice
The first full term of the Roberts Court was momentous. The two newest justices--the chief justice and Justice Alito--pledged "judicial modesty" in their Senate confirmation hearings, but they disregarded settled law on politically charged issues:...
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Helping Patients Become "Competent Inquirers"
Which of my patients is expressing autonomy? A) a thirty-six-year-old woman who refuses amniocentesis after reading its risks on Web MD; B) a woman with very high cholesterol who declines a statin on her naturopath's advice; C) a young man with one...
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How Do Patients Know?
The way patients make health care decisions is much more complicated than is often recognized. Patient autonomy allows both that patients will sometimes defer to clinicians and that they should sometimes be active inquirers, ready to question their...
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Improving Access to Health Care: A Consensus Ethical Framework to Guide Proposals for Reform
As the American system of health care delivery strains under the weight of erratic coverage, inefficiency, and uncertain quality, proposals for how it should be reformed have proliferated. (1) Some proposals focus primarily on improving quality, others...
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On Making Compassion Tangible
A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life's End. By Joseph F. Fins. Jones & Bartlett, 2005. 281 pages. Softcover, $42.95 I have written this book because I have faith in the individual practitioner--my colleagues in the helping professions....
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Patient Doctors
In an essay in this issue of the Report, Eric Cassell--an internist, Hastings fellow, and recipient two years ago of a lifetime achievement award from the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities--celebrates and laments what bioethics has...
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Pushing Right against the Evidence: Turbulent Times for Canadian Health Care
Throughout the history of Canadian Medicare, there have been those who have opposed the universal, publicly funded system and advocated for greater private sector involvement. Amidst widespread public dissatisfaction with some aspects of Canadian health...
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The Ashley Case: The Public Response and Policy Implications
Shortly after I moved to the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children's Hospital in July 2006, my colleague, Doug Diekema, mentioned that he was publishing a paper that might generate controversy. The paper addressed questions...
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Unanswered Questions: Bioethics and Human Relationships
This essay is based on a plenary address at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities, delivered upon acceptance of a Lifetime Achievement Award. ********** I do not consider myself primarily an ethicist,...
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What's Wrong with the Global Migration of Health Care Professionals? Individual Rights and International Justice
When health care workers migrate from poor countries to rich countries, they are exercising an important human right and helping rich countries fulfill obligations of social justice. They are also, however, creating problems of social justice in the...
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