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scientists that "Whistle Blowers" should be protected then they should make that absolutely clear to all. It is interesting that May also discusses such mundane areas as real estate buyers and whether they really are in conflict with the interest of their clients which are both the buyer and the seller; and he goes on with the same kind ofthing in regard to lawyers. All and all I would say that this book makes for interesting reading in sections, but I am not sure that it should be on one's must list. William H. Shlaes Harry R. Moody, Ethics in an Aging Society, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, first published 1992, reissued in paperback, 1996, 288 pages, $16.95 In his 1992 volume, Ethics in an Aging Society, Moody has achieved a refreshing balance between the didactic and the practical in his discussion of topics which are of great interest to students of aging and concerned members of an aging society. This thoughtful work traces the roots of the popular phrase "quality of life" and weaves the classic teachings to the newest dilemmas for aging people, their physicians , their families and their communities. He relates the story of Crito asking Socrates, "Don't you have a duty to save your life if you can?" Socrates replies, "The point my dear Crito, is not simply to live, but to live well." The simple and popular concept of quality of life is analyzed throughout the volume in a variety of contexts. Through re-interpretation of traditional ethics and the very powerful use of case-studies, the author helps us to re-examine some "inalienable" ethical principles as we ponder common and complex, modern day choices that face individuals and society. The book is divided into three sections and in the first section there is a brief, comprehensive discussion of classic ethical theory during which he proposes many ofthe questions that he will raise and discuss in the text. He compares the dominant model of bioethics to virtue ethics, phenomenology and the communicative ethics of Critical Theory and demonstrates the strengths and shortcomings of these models when trying to answer some ofthe questions unique to gerontology. He proposes a shift from the focus of contemporary bioethics on competence, consent, and confidentiality to Cassel's care, commitment and courage to communication, clarification and consensus building. This concept underscores the ethics of intimacy and its link to geriatric care as it doesn't ignore the social and institutional context of ethics. The chapter, Ethical Dilemmas ofAlzheimer's Disease is among the best examples of the author's ability to entwine classical ethics to common and complex social or clinical topics. His discussion of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) distills the many subtle effects of the disease to a thoughtful perspective on a metamorphosis that involves loss of self. While discussing the work of Kafka and the science-fiction film The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, he illustrates the potential pitfalls of being reduced to something less than human. The potential disregard for those who may become diminished while losing capacity, has great importance as it relates to the concept Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 41, 3 ¦ Spring 1998 455 of the slippery slope. His discussion of the "dark-side" ofbeneficence is quite good. The burden of the caregiver, the "funeral that never ends", or the societal burden may, perhaps make the person with AD vulnerable. "In the same way, once we can convince ourselves that patients with end-stage Alzheimer's Disease are 'no longer there' or are less than fully human, then it becomes easier to kill them". It is in this chapter that case studies are used in a powerful fashion to illustrate some of the human experiences which help bring these principles to reality. We are challenged to think about autonomy in an expanded way which includes the values of dignity, honor and self-respect. As part of this discussion, the shortcomings of advance directives are teased out. The point that advance directives are sometimes helpful to those who want to refuse treatment, but do little to help one secure treatment is a fresh perspective. Importantly, it is pointed out that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 455-457
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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