Troubled Voices: Stories of Ethics and Illness

Overview

As one of America's best-known interpreters of philosophy, ethics, and medicine, Richard Zaner offers a hands-on, daily-rounds visit to real problems and real people struggling with painfully real medical dilemmas. Honest, forthright, and beautifully written, Troubled Voices introduces the reader to the human side of medical issues usually viewed from afar in the cold abstract of the daily news - euthanasia, genetic testing, renal dialysis, abortion, experimental procedures - and movingly reveals the people and ...
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Overview

As one of America's best-known interpreters of philosophy, ethics, and medicine, Richard Zaner offers a hands-on, daily-rounds visit to real problems and real people struggling with painfully real medical dilemmas. Honest, forthright, and beautifully written, Troubled Voices introduces the reader to the human side of medical issues usually viewed from afar in the cold abstract of the daily news - euthanasia, genetic testing, renal dialysis, abortion, experimental procedures - and movingly reveals the people and personalities who must agonize over those decisions, preparing all of us for the time when we may need to face them as well. Guided by compassion, humor, and, above all, a willingness to listen, Richard Zaner moves among patients and their families, as well as doctors and nurses and other health-care providers, to help illuminate potential choices that no one should have to make. A gifted storyteller, Zaner gives faces and names to "cases" and demonstrates that somewhere behind the hospitals, technology, and medical decisions are individuals - sometimes raging, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes hopeful, and always fully human.

This honest, forthright, and beautifully-written book introduces readers to the human variations on medical topics spoken of in abstract in the daily news--euthanasia, assisted suicide, abortion, "extreme procedures, " genetic testing, experimental surgeries--and to the people who must agonize over those decisions regarding themselves and their loved ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Zaner, director of the Center for Clinical and Research Ethics at Vanderbilt, here offers a glimpse into the problems of modern medical ethics, as well as an account of his own development as a clinical ethicist. When he first assumed the role in a medical center 30 years ago, there was no job description. As he worked with health care professionals, patients and their families, he made and became his own definition--part arbitrator, part counselor, part priest. The cases dicussed raise the questions and the moral choices medical crises bring with them. Presented in concise language, the topics covered range from living wills and child euthanasia to suicide and organ transplants. Readers, especially those with no background in ethics, will find this book informative. (Oct.)
William Beatty
Zaner has two characteristics not always found in medical ethicists--humility and compassion--and his book is not the usual pontification. He believes that the ethicist's main job is to get patient, family, and medical staff talking about things that might otherwise be unmentioned. The ethicist does not solve problems; rather, the ethicist becomes "affiliated" with those caught up in a medical problem and makes himself or herself available when wanted. Describing cases involving fetal surgery, renal dialysis, transplants, and other contemporary problems, Zaner admits his mistakes and realizes the importance of listening and indirection. He points out that many physicians--and potential patients--are not yet aware of advance directives as a method of obtaining the treatment and atmosphere they want in the hospital situation. For this information as much as anything, Zaner's effort will interest much of the laity. Meanwhile, it should become a required text in medical ethics courses.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780829809640
  • Publisher: Pilgrim Press, The/United Church Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Prologue
1 The Many Ways of Ethics 1
2 There's Always a First Time 13
3 Iced Beer and Old Friends 25
4 Exorcising Demons 37
5 Accidents and Time: The Urge to Be Normal 47
6 Life Can Never Be the Same 57
7 "There I Was, Just Floating..." 73
8 What Kind of Choice Is That? 87
9 "That Damned Machine..." 107
10 If You Don't Ask, You Won't Know 119
Afterword 137
Notes 153
Suggested Reading 155
Index 157
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