Who Says You’re Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

Algonquin. Oct. 2019. 352p. bibliog. ISBN 9781616209223. $23.95; ebk. ISBN 9781643750156. MED
Should parents have the right to stop the growth of their daughter with profound intellectual disabilities in order to better care for her? Should conjoined twins be separated in a risky procedure if one twin favors separation while the other doesn’t? Physician and attorney Appel (Mount Sinai Healthcare Syst.; The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up) explores 79 controversial ethical dilemmas. Each scenario consists of a description of the issue, followed by a “reflection,” in which Appel examines the conundrum from different viewpoints and describes how doctors, bioethicists, and policymakers have handled similar situations in the past. Appel rarely offers a directive or a “correct” answer; rather, he leaves each case open-ended in the hope that it will stimulate thought and discussion. Additionally, further reading options at the end of the work provide ample resources for each reflection.
VERDICT An engaging, thought-provoking, and accessible exploration of the many knotty issues that have appeared in newspaper headlines or challenged medical professionals behind closed doors.

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