Medicine’s advances are happening so quickly can the ethics and laws surrounding these changes keep up? In the new book, ‘Who Says You’re Dead'(yes there are different definitions for that, too), Dr. Jacob Appel, an attending psychiatrist ay Mount Sinai and celebrated bioethicist, serves up provocative scenarios which demonstrate how complicated this all can be. To this point: a daughter gets tested to see if she is 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? Or you go to an orthopedic specialist (and they are highly speicalized) needing a hip replacement. His specialty is the knee. Does he have an obligation to tell you that there’s a doctor in the next office building who does your procedure much more routinely? We explore a range of questions that are complex and open ended about designer babies, the three parent couple, and what our responsibility is in the realm of ‘informed consent’. He even has some concerns about the ethical dimensions of the vaunted electronic medical record and its likelihood of being abused. And while we invest all knowing characteristics to many of our doctors, are they better at predicting the course of disease in our body and should they be giving us timelines as to what it might mean to us in the near term and long run? We cover a lot of ground in a brief space of time. It will get you thinking, rest assured.
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