Appel discusses 79 problems in contemporary medical ethics, such as allocation of scarce medical resources, the right to privacy, the right to die, the ethics of medical research, or even the future possibility of human clones. Appel gives a clear description of the scenario, and then discusses the ethical issues to be considered, often citing examples of similar real-life situations.
Though in some few cases the opinion of medical ethicists is fairly well established, in most cases there is no obviously correct choice, and Appel does not attempt to offer one, rather describing the different viewpoints and leaving it to the reader to consider.
Each case is discussed in about three pages. There are no very detailed analyses of the problems here, but Appel's goal is not to train future ethicists, but to provide meaningful food for thought and topics for dinnertime conversation.
The book concludes with a listing of articles or books for further reading on each of the issues discussed--a very nice touch.
On the whole, Who Says You're Dead? accomplishes its goal very well. It's readable, engaging, informative, and entertaining. Its only real deficiency is its lack of depth, but that is an unavoidable sacrifice to attain breadth and accessibility.
This review is based on a free advance copy of the book.
|Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill||Publisher|
|Jacob M. Appel||Author|