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Society today, writes Stephen Post, is "hypercognitive": it places inordinate emphasis on people's powers of rational thinking and memory. Thus, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, which over an extended period incrementally rob patients of exactly those functions, raise many dilemmas. How are we to view—and value—persons deprived of what some consider the most important human capacities? In the second edition of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease, Post updates his highly praised account of the major ethical issues relating to dementia care. With chapters organized to follow the progression from mild to severe and then terminal stages of dementia, Post discusses topics including the experience of dementia, family caregiving, genetic testing for Alzheimer disease, quality of life, and assisted suicide and euthanasia. New to this edition are sections dealing with end-of-life issues (especially artificial nutrition and hydration), the emerging cognitive-enhancing drugs, distributive justice, spirituality, and hospice, as well as a critique of rationalistic definitions of personhood. The last chapter is a new summary of practical solutions useful to family members and professionals. -- Peter M. Jucovey
, Creighton University Medical Center.
Written by an eminent authority from the American Academy of Neurology's Committee on Ethics, Law, and Humanities, this book is an excellent text for all clinicians interested in ethical decision-making. The book features outstanding presentations on dying and palliative care, physician-assisted suicide and voluntary active euthanasia, medical futility, and the relationship between ethics and the law. New chapters in this edition discuss how clinicians resolve ethical dilemmas in practice and explore ethical issues in neuroscience research. Other highlights include updated material on palliative sedation, advance directives, ICU withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy, gene therapy, the very-low-birth-weight premature infant, the developmentally disabled patient, informed consent, organizational ethics, brain death controversies, and fMRI and PET studies relating to persistent vegetative state.
A vivid account of what makes us human. Based groundbreaking new research, We Are Our Brains is a sweeping biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age. Renowned neuroscientist D. F. Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, and our desires, with each chapter serving as an eye-opening window on a different stage of brain development: the gender differences that develop in the embryonic brain, what goes on in the heads of adolescents, how parenthood permanently changes the brain. Moving beyond pure biological understanding, Swaab presents a controversial and multilayered ethical argument surrounding the brain. Far from possessing true free will, Swaab argues, we have very little control over our everyday decisions, or who we will become, because our brains predetermine everything about us, long before we are born, from our moral character to our religious leanings to whom we fall in love with. And he challenges many of our prevailing assumptions about what makes us human, decoding the intricate “moral networks” that allow us to experience emotion, revealing maternal instinct to be the result of hormonal changes in the pregnant brain, and exploring the way that religious “imprinting” shapes the brain during childhood. Rife with memorable case studies, We Are Our Brains is already a bestselling international phenomenon. It aims to demystify the chemical and genetic workings of our most mysterious organ, in the process helping us to see who we are through an entirely new lens. Did you know? • The father’s brain is affected in pregnancy as well as the mother’s. • The withdrawal symptoms we experience at the end of a love affair mirror chemical addiction. • Growing up bilingual reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. • Parental religion is imprinted on our brains during early development, much as our native language is. Praise for We Are Our Brains “Swaab’s ‘neurobiography’ is witty, opinionated, passionate, and, above all, cerebral.”—Booklist (starred review) “A fascinating survey . . . Swaab employs both personal and scientific observation in near-equal measure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A cogent, provocative account of how twenty-first-century ‘neuroculture’ has the potential to effect profound medical and social change.”—Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.
The genetics of Alzheimer disease has been a point of intense concern and immense informational confusion for families in which a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. In recent years, however, scientists have begun to uncover the genetic bases for some forms of Alzheimer disease. Once a chromosomal defect is identified, it becomes possible to devise a test for its presence. The far-reaching implications of such tests are the focus of the present volume. In Genetic Testing for Alzheimer Disease, Stephen G. Post and Peter J. Whitehouse bring together experts from the fields of ethics, genetics, policy, neurology, philosophy, and anthropology to examine the ethical and social aspects of genetic testing for Alzheimer disease. The authors begin by focusing on current genetic findings and their clinical applicability. They then address ethical issues in genetic testing and genetic counseling for Alzheimer disease. They examine social issues such as confidentiality, discrimination, and fairness in health care. Finally, they discuss ways to educate professionals and laypeople regarding these issues. Contributors: Robert H. Binstock, Ph.D.?Thomas D. Bird, M.D. ? Robert Mullan Cook-Deegan, M.D.? Leonard Fleck, Ph.D. ? Atwood D. Gaines, Ph.D, M.P.H. ? Eric T. Juengst, Ph.D. ? Harry Karlinsky, M.D. ? Steven Miles, M.D. ? Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D. ? Stephen G. Post, Ph.D. ? Kimberly A. Quaid, Ph.D. ? Allen D. Roses, M.D. ? Greg A. Sachs, M.D. ? Peter H. St. George-Hyslop, M.D. ? Bonnie Steinbock, Ph.D. ? Arthur B. Zinn, M.D., Ph.D.
"Aging, Death, and the Quest for Immortality is a volume by physicians, health-care professionals, pastors, and ethicists who explore the experiences, dilemmas, and possibilities associated with aging."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Through a series of essays contributed by clinicians, medical historians, and prominent moral philosophers, Cognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy addresses the ethical, bio-ethical, epistemological, historical, and meta-philosophical questions raised by cognitive disability Features essays by a prominent clinicians and medical historians of cognitive disability, and prominent contemporary philosophers such as Ian Hacking, Martha Nussbaum, and Peter Singer Represents the first collection that brings together philosophical discussions of Alzheimer's disease, intellectual/developmental disabilities, and autism under the rubric of cognitive disability Offers insights into categories like Alzheimer's, mental retardation, and autism, as well as issues such as care, personhood, justice, agency, and responsibility

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