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The Altruism Equation

Seven Scientists Search for the Origins of Goodness

Lee Alan Dugatkin

In a world supposedly governed by ruthless survival of the fittest, why do we see acts of goodness in both animals and humans? This problem plagued Charles Darwin in the 1850s as he developed his theory of evolution through natural selection. Indeed, Darwin worried that the goodness he observed in nature could be the Achilles heel of his theory. Ever since then, scientists and other thinkers have engaged in a fierce debate about the origins of goodness that has dragged politics, philosophy, and religion into what remains a major question for evolutionary biology.

The Altruism Equation traces the history of this debate from Darwin to the present through an extraordinary cast of characters-from the Russian prince Petr Kropotkin, who wanted to base society on altruism, to the brilliant biologist George Price, who fell into poverty and succumbed to suicide as he obsessed over the problem. In a final surprising turn, William Hamilton, the scientist who came up with the equation that reduced altruism to the cold language of natural selection, desperately hoped that his theory did not apply to humans.

Hamilton's Rule, which states that relatives are worth helping in direct proportion to their blood relatedness, is as fundamental to evolutionary biology as Newton's laws of motion are to physics. But even today, decades after its formulation, Hamilton's Rule is still hotly debated among those who cannot accept that goodness can be explained by a simple mathematical formula. For the first time, Lee Alan Dugatkin brings to life the people, the issues, and the passions that have surrounded the altruism debate. Readers will be swept along by this fast-paced tale of history, biography, and scientific discovery.

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Altruism, Morality, and Economic Theory

Presents a collection of papers by economists theorizing on the roles of altruism and morality versus self-interest in the shaping of human behavior and institutions. Specifically, the authors examine why some persons behave in an altruistic way without any apparent reward, thus defying the economist's model of utility maximization. The chapters are accompanied by commentaries from representatives of other disciplines, including law and philosophy.

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Alzheimer’s and Dementia

A Practical and Legal Guide for Nevada Caregivers

            Individuals or families receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or brain damage from a stroke face daunting questions: how to provide for care when the patient can no longer manage his or her own affairs, how to protect their rights and property, where to go for help, and how to cope with the day-to-day challenges of fading memory and diminished cognition. Here is a comprehensive guide specifically for aging Nevadans and for family members, professional caregivers, and health care workers who help them.
The authors—an elder law attorney and a specialist in geriatric care management—offer readers useful advice from the perspective of Nevada resources and Nevada law, addressing such topics as the legal and financial steps that patients and their families can take to protect themselves and their assets, paying for long-term care, arranging for guardianship, and tending to the details that follow the death of a loved one.
 This edition, updated in 2011, includes information about recent changes in laws that affect seniors, new research and treatments, and a new guide to resources throughout the state that can provide assistance to people afflicted with these medical conditions.

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America's Healthcare Transformation

Strategies and Innovations

Edited by Robert A. Phillips

A revolution in American medicine is in full swing, with the race from fee-for-service to fee-for-value at the front line in an epic battle that will transform healthcare delivery for decades to come. In America’s Healthcare Transformation, eminent physician leader Robert A. Phillips brings together key thought leaders and trail-blazing practitioners, who provide a wide-ranging exploration of the strategies, innovations, and paradigm shifts that are driving this healthcare transformation. The contributors offer a panoramic look at the dramatic changes happening in the field of medicine, changes that put the patient at the heart of the process. Among other subjects, the essays evaluate innovative high quality and low cost care delivery solutions from around the United States and abroad, describe fundamental approaches to measuring the safety of care and the impact that guidelines have on improving quality of care and outcomes, and make a strong case that insurance reform will fundamentally and irreversibly drive delivery reform. In addition, America’s Healthcare Transformation reviews the role of health information technology in creating safer healthcare, provides a primer on the development of a culture of safety, and highlights ground-breaking new ways to train providers in patient safety and quality. Finally, the book looks at reports from Stanford Health Care and Houston Methodist which outline how successful behaviorally based strategies, anchored in values, can energize and empower employees to deliver a superior patient experience. Drawing on the wisdom and vision of today’s leading healthcare innovators, America’s Healthcare Transformation provides a roadmap to the future of American healthcare. This book is essential reading for all health care providers, health care administrators, and health policy professionals, as and it will be an invaluable resource in the effort to improve the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare in our communities and nation.

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American Afterlife

Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

Kate Sweeney

Someone dies. What happens next?One family inters their matriarch’s ashes on the floor of the ocean. Another holds a memorial weenie roast each year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 ad for embalming fluid promises, “You can make mummies with it!” while a leading contemporary burial vault is touted as impervious to the elements. A grieving mother, 150 years ago, might spend her days tending a garden at her daughter’s grave. Today, she might tend the roadside memorial she erected at the spot her daughter was killed. One mother wears a locket containing her daughter’s hair; the other, a necklace containing her ashes.What happens after someone dies depends on our personal stories and on where those stories fall in a larger tale—that of death in America. It’s a powerful tale that we usually keep hidden from our everyday lives until we have to face it.American Afterlife by Kate Sweeney reveals this world through a collective portrait of Americans past and present who find themselves personally involved with death: a klatch of obit writers in the desert, a funeral voyage on the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us back in time to meet our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. Each story illuminates details in another until something larger is revealed: a landscape that feels at once strange and familiar, one that’s by turns odd, tragic, poignant, and sometimes even funny.

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American Beliefs About Intelligence

Based on two national surveys--one of adults and one of secondary school students, this volume reports on their experiences with and their attitudes toward standardized tests of intelligence. The authors analyze the relations between a person's beliefs about the nature of intelligence, his estimate of his own intelligence, his attitudes concerning tests, and other personal characteristics.

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American Catholic Hospitals

A Century of Changing Markets and Missions

Barbra Mann Wall

In American Catholic Hospitals, Barbra Mann Wall chronicles changes in Catholic hospitals during the twentieth century, many of which are emblematic of trends in the American healthcare system.

Wall explores the Church's struggle to safeguard its religious values. As hospital leaders reacted to increased political, economic, and societal secularization, they extended their religious principles in the areas of universal health care and adherence to the Ethical and Religious Values in Catholic Hospitals, leading to tensions between the Church, government, and society. The book also examines the power of women--as administrators, Catholic sisters wielded significant authority--as well as the gender disparity in these institutions which came to be run, for the most part, by men. Wall also situates these critical transformations within the context of the changing Church policy during the 1960s. She undertakes unprecedented analyses of the gendered politics of post-Second Vatican Council Catholic hospitals, as well as the effect of social movements on the practice of medicine.

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American Federalism in Practice

The Formulation and Implementation of Contemporary Health Policy

Michael Doonan

American Federalism in Practice is an original and important contribution to our understanding of contemporary health policy. It also illustrates how contentious public policy is debated, formulated, and implemented in today's overheated political environment.

Health care reform is perhaps the most divisive public policy issue facing the United States today. Michael Doonan provides a unique perspective on health policy in explaining how intergovernmental relations shape public policy. He tracks federal-state relations through the creation, formulation, and implementation of three of the most important health policy initiatives since the Great Society: the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), both passed by the U.S. Congress, and the Massachusetts health care reform program as it was developed and implemented under federal government waiver authority. He applies lessons learned from these cases to implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

"Health policymaking is entangled in a complex web of shared, overlapping, and/or competing power relationships among different levels of government," the author notes. Understanding federal-state interactions, the ways in which they vary, and the reasons for such variation is essential to grasping the ultimate impact of federalism on programs and policy. Doonan reveals how federalism can shift as the sausage of public policy is made while providing a new framework for comprehending one of the most polarizing debates of our time.

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American Imago

Vol. 52 (1995) through current issue

American Imago was founded by Sigmund Freud and Hanns Sachs in the U.S. in 1939 as the successor to Imago, founded by Freud, Sachs, and Otto Rank in Vienna in 1912. Having celebrated its centenary anniversary in 2012, the journal retains its luster as the leading scholarly journal of psychoanalysis. Each issue features cutting-edge articles that explore the enduring relevance of Freud's legacy across the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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The American Journal of Bioethics

Vol. 1 (2001) - vol. 4, no. 2 (2004)

AJOB provides a rapid, peer-reviewed collection of scholarship about emerging issues in bioethics. The Journal is available in a unique print and internet format. Subscribers receive access to the ajobonline portal, which features on-line news updates, live bioethics events, rankings of bioethics graduate programs, and other materials.

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