Who Says You’re Dead? Medical and Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious and Concerned

By Jacob M. Appel

Added January 7, 2020

“An original, compelling, and provocative exploration of ethical issues in our society, with thoughtful and balanced commentary. I have not seen anything like it.” —Alan Lightman, author of Einstein’s Dreams Drawing upon the author’s two decades teaching medical ethics, as well as his work as a practicing psychiatrist, this profound and addictive little book offers up challenging ethical dilemmas and asks readers, What would you do? A daughter gets tested to see if she’s a match to donate a kidney to her father. The test reveals that she is not the man’s biological daughter. Should the doctor tell the father? Or the daughter? A deaf couple prefers a deaf baby. Should they be allowed to use medical technology to ensure they have a child who can’t hear? Who should get custody of an embryo created through IVF when a couple divorces? Or, when you or a loved one is on life support, Who says you’re dead? In short, engaging scenarios, Dr. Appel takes on hot-button issues that many of us will confront: genetic screening, sexuality, privacy, doctor-patient confidentiality. He unpacks each hypothetical with a brief reflection drawing from science, philosophy, and history, explaining how others have approached these controversies in real-world cases. Who Says You’re Dead? is designed to defy easy answers and to stimulate thought and even debate among professionals and armchair ethicists alike.

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