A sober, bracing and important look at the realities of medicine and its costs.
Callahan writes . . . with elegance and lucidity; he excels at describing present irrationalities and in underscoring the benefits anticipated in his new model health care system.
A graceful . . . book that makes a substantive contribution to our thinking about the legitimate claims of the individual on society, and the unexamined values behind the development of medical technology. . . . He offers a vision that is both wise and compassionate for addressing the most pressing domestic problem of our time.
An important contribution. It lays bare the bankrupt assumptions of the current health care system, and it serves as a forceful reminder of the trade-offs both within our health care system and between health and other societal values.
An important piece of work. It is lucid, generally compelling, often eloquent, decidedly visionary, and undoubtedly daring. Future discussions of health care reform cannot afford to ignore it, whether or not the participants find themselves in agreement.
A challenging book, which makes a splendid effort to unite moral and policy analysis and succeeds at many levels. . . . He deals with issues central to our times and tells us much that we can learn from, even when we disagree with him.
It has the ring of common sense and realism.
Callahan, medical ethicist, co-founder of the Hastings Center, and author of Abortion: Law, Choice and Morality (o.p.), makes a complex and largely logic-based argument here for the rationing of health care. In rather formal philosophical style, he proposes a reconstitution of American health care, suggests a ``biographical'' life span after which intervention would be limited to caring rather than curing, and outlines the changes necessary in the political climate for such an adjustment. His proposal--of a ``pyramid'' of health care, in which measures that benefit the largest number of people are widely available, and specialized care, such as transplant surgery, is rationed on an individual cost/benefit basis--will be highly controversial. Essential for collections in health, medicine, and the social sciences, but heavy going for most lay readers. Excellent end notes.-- Mark L. Shelton, Columbus, Ohio
Lucidly describes the irrationalities of the present health care system while outlining the benefits of a new model of health care which the author believes would serve people more intelligently in the long run. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)