Emerging Issues in Biomedical Policy - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in Biomedical Policy - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in Biomedical Policy - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in Biomedical Policy - Vol. 1

Synopsis

In the first volume of a series dedicated to issues of biomedical policy, 20 essays consider the allocation of scarce medical resources, and genetic and reproductive technologies. The contributors are from a wide range of medical, scientific, and philosophical fields. No index. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

A couple conceives a baby in order to donate the child's bone marrow to an older sibling with leukemia. A man sues his surgeon for using cells from his spleen to develop a patented and valuable cell line without his permission. The Supreme Court holds that the nasogastric tube cannot be removed from a permanently comatose young woman if she had not clearly made known her wishes about what to do if ever on life-support systems. An elderly man sues a hospital for wrongfully reviving him with electric shock when he had a heart attack. Surgery is performed on a twenty-four-week fetus, while still in the uterus, to correct a usually fatal condition of a herniated diaphragm. Such medical innovations, dilemmas, choices, and decisions as these are steady companions of the late twentieth century, and the issues arising from rapid advances in science and technology are frequent, varied, and provocative.

Today's biomedical technologies open doors to the presence of medicine in all facets of life. Ivan Illich has written of the "medicalization" of the western world, in which each life stage--from pregnancy to adulthood to death--calls for medical "tutelage" (1976:78). Individuals are born into a medical culture in which eye charts, vaccinations, dental hygiene, medical claim forms, blood pressure checks, medical referrals, and other tasks are a normal part of life. Advanced biomedical technologies extend the stages of life subject to medical care, and they increase the number of maladies for which intervention and treatment are expected.

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