Bioethics Reader

The Kansas City Public Library and the Center for Practical Bioethics hosted an all-day bioethics symposium called Controversial Bodies: How to View Plastinated Corpses on December 5, 2008 at the Central Library, spurred in part by the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Union Station this year. These books cover bioethical issues and the field of medical ethics.

Bioethics | Medical ethics | Plastinated bodies


Challenging Nature book jacket

Challenging Nature: The Clash of Science and Spirituality at the New Frontiers of Life
By Lee M. Silver
In Challenging Nature, Silver offers a provocative look at the collision of science, religion, pseudoscience, and politics.

In the Wake of Terror: Medicine and Morality in a Time of Crisis
Edited by Jonathan D. Moreno
The war on terrorism and the threat of chemical and biological weapons have brought a new urgency to already complex moral and bioethical questions. In the Wake of Terror presents thought-provoking essays on many of the troubling issues facing American society, written by experts from the fields of medicine, health care policy, law, political science, history, philosophy, and theology.

Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics
By Leon R. Kass
Grappling with the moral meaning of new biomedical technologies, a doctor meditates on cloning, embryo research, the sale of organs, and the assault on mortality itself.

The Future Is Now: America Confronts the New Genetics
Edited by William Kristol and Eric Cohen
This book looks both to the past and the future of the genetics debate. It includes articles, essays, speeches, and testimony from genetic enthusiasts and critics, scientists and moralists, politicians and scholars.

The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society
Edited by Joseph S. Alper
The Double-Edged Helix explores the impact of genetic discoveries on both different population segments and society as a whole. The authors address the medical and ethical implications of the new technologies, outlining potential positive and negative effects of genetic research on minorities, individuals with disabilities, and those of diverse sexual orientations. Presenting a wide array of perspectives, this book emphasizes the need to ensure that research into genetics research does not result in discrimination against people on the basis of their DNA.

Medical ethics

Embracing Our Mortality book jacket

Embracing Our Mortality: Hard Choices in an Age of Medical Miracles
By Lawrence J. Schneiderman
While we would all prefer to die at home, quietly and peacefully, in fact most of us will die in a health care facility, many of us hooked up to machines and faced with tough alternatives. In Embracing Our Mortality, Dr. Lawrence J. Schneiderman captures medical decision-making in action at the end of life, a time when the physician's and patient's choices are the most difficult – and the most heart-wrenching – to make.

The Body Hunters: Testing New Drugs on the World's Poorest Patients
By Sonia Shah
This book reveals the unethical drug-testing practices of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. In its quest to develop lucrative new drugs, Big Pharma has quietly exported its clinical research business to the global South, where ethical oversight is minimal, and sick, poor, and desperate patients are abundant.

Do We Still Need Doctors?
By John D. Lantos
Exploring such issues as the structure of medical education, the corporatization of health care, and the increasing constraints upon the private doctor-patient relationship, John Lantos, a pediatrician, teacher, and and bioethicist at the University of Chicago, reveals how changes in our health care system are fostering new ways of understanding and responding to illness.

Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts
By Michele Goodwin
Offering a contemporary view of organ and tissue supply and demand, Goodwin explores the legal, racial, and social nuances of black market procurement.

The Pursuit of Perfection: The Promise and Perils of Medical Enhancement
By Sheila M. Rothman and David J. Rothman
What does it mean to live in a time when medical science can not only cure the human body but also reshape it? How should we as individuals and as a society respond to new drugs and genetic technologies? Sheila and David Rothman address these troubling questions with a singular blend of history and analysis, taking us behind the scenes to explain how scientific research, medical practice, drug company policies, and a quest for peak performance combine to exaggerate potential benefits and minimize risks.

The Lazarus Case: Life-And-Death Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care
By John D. Lantos
In this book, John D. Lantos weaves a compelling story that captures the dilemmas of modern medical practice. The Lazarus Case begins with a fictional malpractice case -- an amalgam of typical cases in which Lantos has testified as an expert witness -- and uses it as the framework for addressing the ethical issues surrounding neonatal intensive care. Lantos draws on his experience in neonatal medicine, pediatrics, and medical ethics to explore multiple ethical dilemmas through one poignant representative situation.

Plastinated Bodies

"The Body as Interactive Display: Examining Bodies in a Public Exhibition" by Dirk vom Lehn
Sociology of Health & Illness 28.2 (Mar. 2006): 223-251.
Library card required from home.

"Plastination for Display: A New Way to Dispose of the Dead" by Tony Walter
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10.3 (Sep. 2004): 603-627.
Library card required from home.

"Anatomy's Full Monty by John Bohannon
Science 301.5637 (2003): 1172-5.
Library card required from home.

Book descriptions provided by BookLetters.