Bioethics Blogs

Wonderful Review of Critical Decisions in Hastings Center Report

Critical DecisionsI’m not sure why I didn’t notice this earlier, but I just came across a very gracious, even overly generous, review of my book, Critical Decisions in the leading journal of bioethics, The Hastings Center Report. I thought I would share it with you:

When I finally got eyeglasses as a teenager, after denying the need for far too long, I was repeatedly surprised by the world that everyone else had been seeing all along. Leaves on the trees, graffiti by the highway—I was astonished, amazed, and suddenly informed. It is easy to assume we are seeing all we need to see, knowing all we need to know, until something jars us from this false comfort and compels us to reconsider. So it is with thinking about the current state of doctor-patient decisions. The unfocused view has physicians listening to patients and clearly communicating information about illnesses and treatment options, patients making good use of high-quality data to craft sound decisions, and doctors joining patient preference with provider beneficence to optimize decisions. The reassuring outlook finds physician paternalism defeated, patients empowered, and all right with the world.

Peter Ubel cannot let that fiction stand. In Critical Decisions: How You and Your Doctor Can Make the Right Medical Choices Together, Ubel reminds us that our work in actualizing patient autonomy and fostering patient participation in critical health decisions remains far from over.

As suggested by its subtitle, Critical Decisions is a book written for patients, though its value for physicians, bioethicists, educators, and students should not be underestimated.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.