What Price Better Health? Hazards of the Research Imperative

ISBN-10: 0520246640
ISBN-13: 9780520246645
Edition: 2006
Authors: Daniel Callahan
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Description: The idea that we have an unlimited moral imperative to pursue medical research is deeply rooted in American society and medicine. In this provocative work, Daniel Callahan exposes the ways in which such a seemingly high and humane ideal can be  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 1/5/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 341
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034

The idea that we have an unlimited moral imperative to pursue medical research is deeply rooted in American society and medicine. In this provocative work, Daniel Callahan exposes the ways in which such a seemingly high and humane ideal can be corrupted and distorted into a harmful practice. Medical research, with its power to attract money and political support, and its promise of cures for a wide range of medical burdens, has good and bad sides--which are often indistinguishable. In "What Price Better Health?, "Callahan teases out the distinctions and differences, revealing the difficulties that result when the research imperative is suffused with excessive zeal, adulterated by the profit motive, or used to justify cutting moral corners. Exploring the National Institutes of Health's annual budget, the inflated estimates of health care cost savings that result from research, the high prices charged by drug companies, the use and misuse of human subjects for medical testing, and the controversies surrounding human cloning and stem cell research, Callahan clarifies the fine line between doing good and doing harm in the name of medical progress. His work shows that medical research must be understood in light of other social and economic needs and how even the research imperative, dedicated to the highest human good, has its limits.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction: An Imperative?
The Emergence and Growth of the Research Imperative
Protecting the Integrity of Science
Is Research a Moral Obligation?
Curing the Sick, Helping the Suffering, Enhancing the Well
Assessing Risks and Benefits
Using Humans for Research
Pluralism, Balance, and Controversy
Doing Good and Doing Well
Advocacy and Priorities for Research
Research and the Public Interest
Notes
Index

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