Alpha and Omega: Ethics at the Frontiers of Life and Death

Ernle W. D. Young, Author Addison Wesley Publishing Company $21.33 (209p) ISBN 978-0-201-18199-9
A one-time politically active South African Methodist minister, now professor of medical ethics and chaplain at Stanford University Medical Center, Young discusses here the impact on medical ethics of new technologiesreproductive procedures, fetal imaging, genetic engineering, neonatalogy, organ transplants and measures used to prolong life. Basing his discussion of cases on first-hand observation with admirable objectivity, the author sets forth guidelines as to which, if any, of these techniques may unjustifiably intrude into the natural order, and who or what groups should be accountable for deciding to use or withhold them. Such decisions, he suggests, call for a balance between sometimes incompatible principles. Issues such as abortion, assisted suicide and surrogate motherhood, the author argues, are most likely to result in conflict among medical, legal, religious and ethical values. Young's moderate liberal stance on medico-moral quandaries is bound to provoke critics on opposite sides of the spectrum. His excellent study concludes with a review of the special ethical problems posed by AIDS and a prescription for an improved, and more equitable, medical health care system. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 672 pages - 978-0-201-52344-7
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