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. 26, No. 6, November-December

Bioethics, Our Crowd, and Ideology
Not long ago, Philippe Lazar, Director General of the French biomedical agency INSERM - the equivalent of our National Institutes of Health - complained about the impact of bioethics in his country. Not only, he said, has it led to restrictive legislation,...
Can Nature Serve as a Moral Guide?
However declasse, I have never quite given up the hope that nature might put in a reappearance in ethics. Unfortunately, it is hard to think of a once-robust tradition - that of natural law or naturalism - that is much more down at the heel. Even pragmatism...
Can the Moral Commons Survive Autonomy?
Perhaps nothing has so exasperated me over the years as the deference given in bioethics to the principle of autonomy. To be sure, those who espouse the moral theory of principlism have always insisted that autonomy is only one among other important...
Challenges to Traditional Medical Goals
We begin, however, with the question of definition. Following common useage, medicine can be defined, as in Dorland's Medical Dictionary, as "the art and science of the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health." Yet this conventional...
Daniel Callahan: On Living (Well) within Limits
On 15 July 1974 Time Magazine presented a portfolio of young American leaders (under forty-five years of age) whom it dubbed "200 Faces for the Future." The cur haired, but now graying, man who we honor this evening, Daniel Callahan, made Time's list...
Does Clinical Ethics Distort the Discipline?
In the early 1970s, in one of my first articles on bioethics, I wrote that the principal aim of the field should be to help the medical practitioner deal with concrete cases. While I would hardly want to overlook the needs of the practitioner, I now...
Escaping from Legalism: Is It Possible?
The law is America's greatest strength, but sometimes also its greatest curse, when it gets in the vicinity of ethics. No myth is so hardy as the notion that "you can't legislate morality," which of course we do all the time. But that myth has been...
Is Justice Enough? Ends and Means in Bioethics
There call be little doubt that the dominant social issue of the 1960s and 1970s was that of justice and equality. It inspired the development of many fresh welfare policies and was a potent motivating force in the advent of Medicare and Medicaid,...
Looking Forward
The premise of this report was this: that further discussions of health care reform should not satisfy themselves solely with debates about the organization and financing of health care systems. Something has been missing. At the heart of such systems...
Medicine and Society
While medicine still has the capacity from within significantly to determine its own course, it is highly influenced by the mores, values, economics, and politics of the societies of which it is a part. The border between the realm of medicine and...
Mistaken Medial Goals and the Misuse of Medical Knowledge
The goals of medicine are rich and diverse. The capacity of medicine to articulate pain, suffering, and impairment in secular terms, and to make sense of them in part by scientific means and metaphors moves medicine beyond narrowly medical goals. The...
Practical Aims and Applications
Rethinking the goals of medicine should help address three important practical questions: what should be the future priorities of biomedical research? What are the implications of the goals of medicine for the design of health care systems? How should...
Sources of Stress
New Pressures. While there is significant variation from place to place, medicine is in general under considerable stress for a variety of scientific, economic, social, and political reasons. Some of this stress is occasioned by the success of medicine,...
Specifying the Goals of Medicine
We want now to specify what we take to be appropriate contemporary goals for medicine and, at the same time, to justify those goals and to take account of the problems of meaning and interpretation that they pose. A preliminary step is necessary, that...
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