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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nalini I Rattan, BA, MA (Alzheimer Society of Canada)
Description: This book provides readers an opportunity to examine the significance of ethical reasoning when making choices. It allows readers to look at how various decisions can be made through purely rational thought compared to that which is value-based, which includes emotion and personal beliefs.
Purpose: This purpose is to look at our need to make clear and intelligible decisions. This is a worthy objective, as the value of decisions tends to be lost within policy and procedure that is created and never changed over time. This book meets the author's objectives as it pays close attention to the source of decision-making by looking at how logic, personal beliefs, and an individual's preferences can be categorized and ranked, which influences the decisions that we make in the end. It compares the effect of making a decision based purely on logic to making value-based decisions and shows the impact of both, which helps the reader to see how significant the impact can be when it comes to making a choice.
Audience: This book is written for students, those in the "caring professions," and anyone interested in philosophical thought regarding decision-making. The author is a Professor of Health and Social Ethics at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.
Features: This book covers the various ways in which decisions can be made. It looks at logical thought, values-based decisions, how personal experience can influence one's understanding and choices and how it all effects choices that are made. The areas that are particularly well covered include the section that looks at the "edge of logic" where a point system is created in enabling an individual to see how much value is placed among particular categories. When assessing the accumulated points that are assigned across those categories, an individual is then able to make a well-informed decision based on that comparison. The diagrams in the book are effective and helped the explanation of the author's concepts to be understood more clearly. Greater emphasis could have been placed on the healthcare environment and how such decision-making techniques could be applied to, and could benefit, the "caring professions." Perhaps a chapter could have been designated for that topic alone.
Assessment: This book is valuable as it allows the reader to closely examine the various methods by which decisions can be made. As decision-making plays a significant role in everyday life, this book brings attention to the significance of how closely we examine our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and how they can collectively assist us in assessing situations and in making choices. Within healthcare, making effective and sound decisions is imperative. As this book focuses solely on decision-making, it is effective in addressing that topic. Other books that I have read have placed greater emphasis on case studies and how decisions influence healthcare based on the law, rational thought, and values. Minimal reference is made to those areas in this book, but philosophical reasoning plays a greater role in the logic behind the concepts of this book.