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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
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.
Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. The most common form of dementia among older people is Alzheimer's disease (AD), which involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Age is the most important known risk factor for AD. The number of people with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65. AD is a slow disease, starting with mild memory problems and ending with severe brain damage. The course the disease takes and how fast changes occur vary from person to person. On average, AD patients live from 8 to 10 years after they are diagnosed, though the disease can last for as many as 20 years. Current research is aimed at understanding why AD occurs and who is at greatest risk of developing it, improving the accuracy of diagnosis and the ability to identify those at risk, discovering, developing, and testing new treatments, and discovering treatments for behavioural problems in patients with AD. This new book gathers state-of-the-art research from leading scientists throughout the world which offers important information on understanding the underlying causes and discovering the most effective treatments for Alzheimer's Disease.
Positive conceptions of ‘healthy aging’ are rightly displacing negative ageist perceptions of older members of our society. Nevertheless, at some stage, most elderly citizens will require some form of assistance from other members of society. When the body or mind begins to fail, a legitimate need for intervention and care will arise. This second volume on Aging discusses this theme.
Health care and human service professionals often experience anxiety about potential adverse legal repercussions for actions taken or not taken in the course of caring for patients or clients. In this volume, professionally distinguished and diverse authors discuss both the real and perceived legal liability context within which health and human service delivery to older persons takes place. The benefits and costs of litigious, legislative, and regulatory interventions on the quality of care and the quality of life for recipients of geriatric services is evaluated. Most important, chapters present suggestions for ways to effectively reduce or manage legal risks and anxieties while improving patient care. This volume fills a gap in the literature by providing careful and accurate analysis of legal issues rarely translated into practical and useful advice for health care and human service professionals.
By analyzing the amalgam of Greek philosophy, Jewish and Christian teachings, and secular humanism that composes our dominant ethical system, the authors of this volume explore the question of whether or not Western and non-Western moral values can be commingled without bilateral loss of cultural integrity. They take as their philosophical point of departure the observation that both ethical relativism and ethical absolutism have become morally indefensible in the context of the multicultural American life, and they variously consider the need for an ethical middle ground.

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