Life Choices

A Hastings Center Introduction to Bioethics

Second Edition

Joseph H. Howell and William Frederick Sale, Editors

"The articles . . . represent some of the most important positions taken on the topics under consideration."
+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

An authoritative introduction to bioethics, Life Choices examines a comprehensive range of ethical questions and brings together some of the most probing and instructive essays published in the field.

Some of the articles are classics in the literature of bioethics, while others address current issues. Topics include moral decision making, abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, life-sustaining technologies, organ transplantation, reproductive technologies, and the allocation of health care resources.

This second edition features new sections on the goals and allocation of medicine and on the cloning of human beings. It also includes new articles on genetics, the duty to die, and ethical theory.

Written by the foremost authorities in bioethics, Life Choices provides a comprehensive introduction to the field. Instructors who have used the first edition as a text will welcome this new, updated edition. Scholars and health care practitioners will find it useful as a valuable reference on a wide range of bioethical issues.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition



Part I: Introduction: Can Ethics Provide Answers?

Can Ethics Provide Answers?
James Rachels

The Role of Emotion in Ethical Decisionmaking
Sidney Callahan

Where Ethics Come From and What to Do About It
Carl Elliott

Part II: The Goals and Allocation of Medicine

The Goals of Medicine: Setting New Priorities
A Hastings Center Project Report
Executive Summary
Setting New Priorities
Specifying the Goals of Medicine

Medicine and Public Health, Ethics and Human Rights
Jonathan M. Mann

Last Chance Therapies and Managed Care: Pluralism, Fair Procedures, and Legitimacy
Norman Daniels and James E. Sabin

Rescuing Lives: Can't We Count?
Paul T. Menzel

Public Goods and Fair Prices: Balancing Technological Innovation with Social Well-Being
Baruch Brody

Part III: Biomedicine, Rights, and Responsibilities

The Burden of Decision
Alexander Morgan Capron

What About the Family?
John Hardwig

The Family in Medical Decisionmaking
Jeffrey Blustein

Part IV: Reproductive Freedom and Responsibility

Abortion: The Right to an Argument
Gilbert Meilaender

Is There Life After Roe v. Wade?
Mary B. Mahowald

Abortion: Listening to the Middle
Edward A. Langerak

Part V: Termination of Treatment
Is There a Duty to Die?
John Hardwig

Terminating Treatment: Age as a Standard
Daniel Callahan

Triage in the ICU
Robert D. Truog

Is Consent Useful When Resuscitation Isn't?
Giles R. Scofield

In Death's Shadow: The Meanings of Withholding Resuscitation

Must Patients Always Be Given Food and Water?
Joanne Lynn and James F. Childress

Standards of Judgment for Treatment
Edited by Arthur Caplan and Cynthia B. Cohen

Deciding Not to Employ Agressive Measures
Edited by Arthur Caplan and Cynthia B. Cohen

Anencephalic Donors: Separating the Dead from the Dying
Alexander Morgan Capron

Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?
Richard Doerflinger

Voluntary Active Euthanasia
Dan W. Brock

When Self-Determination Runs Amok
Daniel Callahan

Part VI: Family, Parenthood, and New Reproductive Technologies

Artificial Means of Reproduction and Our Understanding of the Family
Ruth Macklin

Reproductive Gifts and Gift Giving: The Altruistic Woman
Janice G. Raymond

Genetic Diagnosis of Human Embryos
Andrea Bonnicksen

Not All That Glitters is Gold
Barbara Katz Rothman

Resolving Disputes over Frozen Embryos
John A. Robertson

The Case Against Thawing Unused Frozen Embryos
David T. Ozar

Part VII: Organ and Tissue Donation and Procurement and Transplantation

My Body, My Property
Lori B. Andrews

An Alternative to Property Rights in Human Tissue
Margaret S. Swain and Randy W. Marusyk

Organ Procurement: It's Not in the Cards
Arthur C. Caplan

Designated Organ Donation: Private Choice in Social Context
Eike-Henner W. Kluge

Part VIII: Genetics, Human Nature, Human Destiny

First Fruits: Genetic Screeing
Kathleen Nolan

Genetic Secrets: Social Issues of Medical Screening in a Genetic Age
Elaine Draper

Bad Axioms in Genetic Engineering
C. Keith Boone

Genetics and Human Malleability
W. French Anderson

Taking Behavioral Genetics Seriously
Erik Parens

Part IX: Cloning Human Beings: Responding to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission's Report
Executive Summary

The Challenge of Public Ethics: Reflections on NABC's Report
James F. Childress

Ban Cloning? Why NABC is Wrong
Susan M. Wolf

Articles from the Hastings Center Report


"The volume deserves high praise . . . [It] provides a helpful collection of representative articles by leading bioethicists on a range of important topics. It belongs on the shelves of scholars, health care professionals, policy makers, and interested laypersons. Moreover, its inclusion of discussion questions after each essay will make it especially useful as an undergraduate text."—Academic Medicine, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"The articles . . . represent some of the most important positions taken on the topics under consideration."—Health Progress

"Highly recommended not only to those involved in teaching bioethics but also to a general audience, including practicing physicians."—Canadian Medical Association Journal

"An excellent text and resource . . . These essays represent some of the finest work by some of the most accomplished scholars in the field."—Doody's Review Service

"An impressive collection of bioethical scholarship by a group of deservedly respected scholars."—Religious Studies Review


Gebhart Allert W. French Anderson Lori B. Andrews Bela Blasszauer Jeffrey Blustein Andrea Bonnicksen C. Keith Boone Kenneth Boyd Dan W. Brock Baruch Brody Daniel Callahan Sidney Callahan Arthur Caplan Alexander Morgan Capron James F. Childress Cynthia B. Cohen Norman Daniels Richard Doerflinger Elaine Draper Carl Elliott John Hardwig Eike-Henner W. Kluge Edward A. Langerak Joanne Lynn Ruth Macklin Mary B. Mahowald Jonathan M. Mann Randy W. Marusyk Gilbert Meilander Paul T. Menzel Kathleen Nolan David T. Ozar Erik Parens James Rachels Janice G. Raymond John A. Robertson Barbara Katz Rothman James E. Sabin Giles R. Scofield Margaret S. Swain Robert D. Truog Susan M. Wolf

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Joseph H. Howell is director of instructional technology at Pensacola Junior College.

William Frederick Sale is chair of the social science division and associate professor of philosophy at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida.

616 pp., 6 x 9

Jan 2000

616 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87840-757-6
Jan 2000

616 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-360-5
Jan 2000

Hastings Center Studies in Ethics series
Gregory E. Kaebnick and Daniel Callahan, Series Editors

Related Titles