Standard of Care: The Law of American Bioethics

Paperback | June 1, 1997

byGeorge J. Annas

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American law, not philosophy or medicine, is the major force shaping American bioethics. This is both because law at its best fosters individual rights, equality, and justice, and because violation of the legal duty or "standard of care" a physician owes a patient can lead to a malpracticesuit. The law has therefore had two conflicting impacts on medical ethics: the positive effect of eroding paternalism and replacing it with a patient-centered ethic; and the negative effect of encouraging physicians to be more concerned with avoiding litigation than doing the "right" thing. Standard of Care explores the fundamental value conflicts confronting medicine and society by examining courtroom resolutions of real bioethical disputes, often of constitutional dimension. This case-based approach, which ranges from abortion to euthanasia, from AIDS to organ transplantation,from genetic research to the artificial heart and rationing, illuminates the value choices with which the power (and impotence) of medicine confronts us. George Annas urges health care professionals to go beyond the minimalist legal "standard of care" by promoting a vigorous, patient-centeredmedical ethics based on respect for human rights and responsibility to both patients and society. If modern medicine is to enhance human life, a reconceptualization of law as the beginning of ethical discourse, rather than as an instrument to end it, is essential. Such a discourse could enrich allour lives by helping us to articulate both a national and international agenda for human rights in health.

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American law, not philosophy or medicine, is the major force shaping American bioethics. This is both because law at its best fosters individual rights, equality, and justice, and because violation of the legal duty or "standard of care" a physician owes a patient can lead to a malpracticesuit. The law has therefore had two conflicting...

George Annas, J.D., M.P.H., is the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law, and Director of the Law, Medicine and Ethics Program, Boston University Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Law. He wrote a regular feature on health law and bioethics for The Hastings Center Report from 1976 to 1991, and since then has written regularly o...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 0.91 inPublished:June 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019512006X

ISBN - 13:9780195120066

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Table of Contents

The U.S. Constitution and BioethicsPART I: Current Controversies1. Brave New Medicine: Restricting Doctor-Patient Conversations2. Trend Surfing: The War on Drugs and Prisoners3. She's Going to Die: The Tragedy of Angela CarterPART II: Constitutional Rights at the Beginning of Life4. The Supreme Court, Privacy, and Abortion5. The Short, Happy Life of Commercial Surgery6. A French Homunculus in a Tennessee CourtPART III: Constitutional Rights at the End of Life7. The Insane Root Takes Reason Prisoner: The Supreme Court and the Right to Die8. In Thunder, Lightning or in Rain9. Legislating the Right to Die: In the Laboratory of the StatesPrivate Sector BioethicsPART IV: AIDS: Public and Private Obligations10. Not Saints but Healers: Legal Duties of Physicians in the AIDS Epidemic11. Faith (Healing), Hope and Charity at the FDA: The Politics of AIDS Drugs TrialsPART V: Biotechnology and Commerce12. Mapping the Human Genome and the Meaning of Monster Mythology13. Outrageous Fortune: Selling Other People's CellsPublic Sector BioethicsPART VI: Organ Transplants and Implants14. The Politics of Fetal Tissue Transplants15. From Canada with Love: Death and Organ Donation16. Death and the Magic Machine: Consent to the Artificial HeartPART VII: Resource Allocation17. Rationing Medical Care18. Minerva v. National Health Agency, 53 U.S. 2d 333 (2020)PART VIII: Killing19. Siamese Twins: Killing One to Save the Other20. Killing MachinesHealth Law and Bioethics and the Millennium

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