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From The CriticsReviewer: Nathaniel J Brown, B.S.(Saint Louis University Department of Health Care Ethics)
Description: Although this is a textbook of sorts, it is intended for a wide audience, not just students. It is also an introduction and contribution to ethical reflection in the arena of infectious disease. It is a timely book, given the increased awareness of infectious diseases in recent years, that addresses pressing issues of recent interest including pandemic flu, HPV, and antibiotic resistance.
Purpose: It aims to contribute to what the authors describe as a dearth of works on infectious disease. It introduces bioethics and public health ethics as separate fields of inquiry and brings them together to offer insights into ethical dilemmas raised or altered by our interactions with infections diseases. The book presents most of the ethical dilemmas through the lens of infection and communicability, which at times challenges the more common individual-centered ethics.
Audience: The book is aimed at students and professional ethicists as well as those from other disciplines interested in the topic. The layout allows those with familiarity in one area to easily skip to the material new to them.
Features: This well organized book begins by setting up its infectious disease lens with chapters explaining how and why, in the authors' views, infectious diseases were largely overlooked at the genesis of bioethics. They briefly consider the dominant theoretical models used in bioethics before presenting the alterations to these theories that their "patient as victim and vector" model requires. Once they have established their system, they use it to both define and analyze dilemmas in areas such as research, containment, immunizations, and screening.
Assessment: This is a fresh contribution to an area of inquiry where there is not a great deal of work. It is well written and will be a valuable addition to the field of infectious disease ethics.