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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.
For the first time this book brings together many of the important essays that have shaped the debate on the quality of life.
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.
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.
Speaking for the Dead is an incisive examination of the highly topical and often controversial issues surrounding the use of human cadavers in scientific research. Fully revised and updated to include recent developments in this area, this new edition incorporates the repeated organ scandals in the UK, body parts scandals in the United States, and the abuses of bodies in China. The book provides new material on neuroimaging, neuroethics and Alzheimer's disease and the major ethical issues they raise for society, in addition to discussing plastination in the form of BodyWorlds types of exhibitions. As human anatomists and bioethicists, the authors offer a unique perspective on these issues, crossing the boundaries between clinical, medical, legal and ethical concerns. Their exploration of both historical and contemporary data results in a clear and comprehensive examination of issues at the forefront of bioethics. With its clear writing style and use of non-technical language Speaking for the Dead will be an essential book for all those interested in bioethics, an area which continues to increase in significance with the development of new techniques for the manipulation of human cadavers. As human anatomists and bioethicists, the authors offer a unique perspective on these issues, crossing the boundaries between clinical, medical, legal and ethical concerns. Their exploration of historical developments as well as their analyses of recent case studies result in a pertinent and comprehensive examination of issues at the forefront of bioethics.

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