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As the state of the natural world declines, environmentally related health problems will increasingly shape the landscape of human health and disease. The confluence of several global trends - rapid population growth combined with an even more dramatic increase in natural resource consumption - drives ecological deterioration, and this in turn poses serious challenges to health. U.S. medicine and bioethics have too long ignored the relevance of these global trends to health care. This groundbreaking work is a call to attention. It brings bioethics and health care squarely into the 21st century.
The book shows how environmental decline relates to human health and to health care practices in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. It outlines the environmental trends that will strongly affect health, and challenges us to see the connections between ways of practicing medicine and the very environmental problems that damage ecosystems and make people sick. In addition to philosophical analysis of the converging values of bioethics and environmental ethics, the book offers case studies as well as a number of practical suggestions for moving health care toward sustainability. The exploration of a hypothetical Green Health Center, in particular, offers an intellectual and moral framework for talking about environmental values in health care. Engaging and challenging, this book will appeal not only to health professionals and philosophers, but to anyone concerned about how to preserve and promote both human health and the health of the natural world.
1. The Challenge of Sustainable Health
2. Linking Health and Environmental Change
3. Population and Consumption
4. Environmental Aspects of Health Care
5. The Green Health Center
6. At the Bedside
7. Global Ethics and Justice
8. New Ways of Thinking About Ethics