Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bioethics for the Rest of Us?

Can you recommend a good book on bioethics for a beginner? I am often asked that question and until now I haven’t had a very satisfying answer. As much as I love it, I don't feel comfortable recommending the American Journal of Bioethics with its grim graphics and complex cover stories (this month’s: “Damage Compounded: Disparities, Distrust, and Disparate Impact In End-of-Life Conflict Resolution Policies” and "Altruistic Discourse in the Informed Consent Process for Childhood Cancer Clinical Trials.") Not exactly layperson friendly. Fortunately, Art L. Caplan has come along to save the day. His recently published book titled “Smart Mice, Not So Smart People: An Interesting and Amusing Guide to Bioethics” is a great introductory book which covers a stunningly wide range of topics. It is easy to read, doesn’t pretend to be “objective” and helps the reader ponder the key bioethics issues of our time. I'll be giving it out as Christmas presents this year.

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