The Goals of Medicine
The Forgotten Issues in Health Care Reform
The Hastings Center coordinated teams of physicians, nurses, public health experts, philosophers, theologians, politicians, health care administrators, social workers, and lawyers in fourteen countries to explore these issues. In this volume, they articulate four basic goals of medicine — prevention of disease, relief of suffering, care of the ill, and avoidance of premature death — and examine them in light of the cultural, political, and economic pressures under which medicine functions. In reporting these findings, the contributors touch on a wide range of diverse issues such as genetic technology, Chinese medicine, care of the elderly, and prevention and public health.
The Goals of Medicine clearly demonstrates the importance of clarifying the purposes of medicine before attempting to change the economic and organizational systems. It warns that without such examination, any reform efforts may be fruitless.
About the Authors
The co-founder and former president of the Hastings Center, Daniel Callahan is currently the director of international programs for the Hastings Center and author of The Troubled Dream of Life, Setting Limits: Medical Goals in an Aging Society and What Kind of Life?: The Limits of Medical Progress (Georgetown University Press).
"This is quite simply a splendid book. It enhances the reputation of those who wrote it, of Daniel Callahan who conceived it, and the already high reputation of the Hastings Center . . . Well-produced and attractive to read, this book is one that thinking people will love . . . This fine book should be on every medical bookshelf."—Bioethics
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