An academic, illuminating assessment of the past, present, and future forms of responsible public health care.



An analysis of how bioethics continue to affect modern American medicine.

“All stages of our lives are caught up in challenging ethical questions raised by modern medicine, health care, public health, and life science research,” write University of Pennsylvania president Gutmann (Identity in Democracy, 2003, etc.) and Moreno (Ethics/Univ. of Pennsylvania; Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans, 2016, etc.) in this astute examination of bioethics as it applies to America’s collective health. As a primer to their insightful discussion, the authors share relevant personal stories. Gutmann discusses her beloved grandmother’s conundrum involving a crucial medical decision, and Moreno discusses the blatant lack of clinical truth telling and “therapeutic privilege” at work during his mother’s ordeal with cancer. These poignant memories illuminate the greater problem of ethics in medicine. The authors’ three-part study begins with a comprehensive history of patient care as it progressed from an atmosphere of unquestioned physician opinion to more current viewpoints, where second opinions and collaborative clinical evaluations are more the norm. Gutmann and Moreno lucidly outline the differences between earlier eras in medicine, when a doctor’s “implicit permission to mislead, if not to lie outright” was openly accepted, and contemporary medicine, where healthier food “choice architecture” and mental health system reforms are just two examples of the radical shift in perception and patient self-empowerment. The authors are unafraid to address more disputable, “slippery slope” issues, many of which remain targeted by polarized political systems. They also respectfully discuss the idea of universal health care, organ donor matching and transplantation, physician-assisted suicide, the surging interest in genetic manipulation, and the deep ethical issues surrounding the neuroscience field. While the authors agree that great strides have been made through more focused attention on ethical clinical care, America falls critically short on achieving a system that is both affordable and accessible.

An academic, illuminating assessment of the past, present, and future forms of responsible public health care.

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-87140-446-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?