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The Lazarus Case


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Table of Contents

Contents: The Lazarus Case: Life and Death Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care Chapter 1 Somebody Will Pay Chapter 2 Passing Out In The NICU Chapter 3 Learning about Death and Dying Chapter 4 Standards of Care Chapter 5 Prognostication and Futility Chapter 6 Consent, Communication, Shared Decision Making Chapter 7 Getting Paid Chapter 8 Home Births Chapter 9 Mistakes in Context Chapter 10 Closing Argument

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Lantos's insights are thoughtful, his empirical and sociological research is impeccable. His insistence that moral agency is possible despite the fact that society heavily shapes our practices and ways of thinking is ultimately as refreshing as it is convincing. I know of no other book like this one. -- Hilde L. Nelson, Department of Philosophy, Michigan State University This is an exceptionally good book that makes effective use of an engaging format to discuss the complex social and moral problems engendered by medical technology-in this case, those of treating premature newborns. Each chapter reflects on a specific aspect of this issue-technological, medical, legal, professional, and ethical-and Lantos brilliantly weaves these themes together by making himself the protagonist in a malpractice case inspired by his own experiences as an expert medical witness. -- Stuart J. Youngner, Director, Center for Biomedical Ethics at Case Western Reserve University

About the Author

John D. Lantos, M.D., is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Chicago and holds the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. He is the author of Do We Still Need Doctors? and coauthor of Neonatal Bioethics: The Moral Challenges of Medical Innovation, also published by Johns Hopkins.


Lantos (Do We Still Need Doctors?) here draws on his personal experiences as a pediatrician and medical ethics expert at the University of Chicago to consider the complexities involved in neonatal intensive care. Using an idealized malpractice case to illustrate his points, he discusses the history, culture, and economics of neonatal care, considering when treatment should be given and withheld, who determines how aggressively life-support treatment should be pursued, and who should participate in treatment decisions. Lantos skillfully shows how difficult it is to determine standards of care for these tiny babies. Many books have been published about the ethical dilemmas surrounding premature births, but this title, written in a style that should appeal to general readers, stands out as a solid introduction to these issues. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida Lib. at St. Petersburg Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

This book is a good read for anyone working in modern health care and involved or interested in any way with the difficult and frustratingly ambiguous decisions that must be made daily while caring for the critically ill. -- Jonathan M. Whitfield, M.D. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings This outstanding book is one of the most important on medical ethics in the past ten years... It is authored by a physician who views issues of the day firsthand in a thoughtful, realistic, and consistent style. The result is elegant and highly readable. Lantos examines ethical problems of neonatal intensive care through his depositional testimony regarding a child who unaccountably survived after treatment was stopped; the result was severe neurological deficit. This device allows Lantos to make cogent but never doctrinaire comments on our judicial system and the progress of technology at the expense of humanity... A must read for physicians, health authorities, and all who in desiring justice imbued with moral acceptance recognize that medical certitude is beyond our powers. Choice Lantos presents an eye-opening and thought-provoking discussion in a unique style... Lantos is honest and voices some of the questions that many, if not all, physicians and medical ethicists have probably thought about... A must-read for all physicians, [and] especially important for those interested in pediatrics, neonatology, geriatrics, or any aspect of medicine that involves life-vs.-death decisions. New Physician The Lazarus Case is recommended for anyone who is involved in patient care and clinical decision making, and will be an effective resource for teaching bioethics to undergraduate, nursing, and medical students. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly The very readable text offers a compelling perspective, both personal and professional, on a tragic situation that illuminates how difficult it is to determine whether any treatment decision is right or wrong, despite the law's best efforts to render such verdicts. -- Felicia G. Cohn Religious Studies Review Compelling. Lantos's narrative style makes for pleasurable reading; once you start a given chapter it is difficult to put his book down. He is at his best when sharing his personal experiences in the clinical realm and insights from relevant nonmedical literature. I am confident it will generate important discussions within our group that will benefit each of us and the infants and families we care for. Journal of the American Medical Association Lantos has taken an important practical problem and applied our understanding of moral and ethical theory to the issue of the appropriateness of care. An important message here is that in the context of this particular case, there are no right or wrong answers to questions posed. New England Journal of Medicine A literate, thoughtful, and provocative work... An excellent way for experts and novices in bioethics, health professionals, and the lay public to be exposed to the complexities of ethical dilemmas in medicine. Medical Humanities Review Many books have been written about the ethical dilemmas surrounding premature births, but this title, written in a style that should appeal to general readers, stands out as a solid introduction to these issues. Recommended for public and academic libraries. Library Journal

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