The Bioethics Research Library regularly receives new additions to its extensive catalogue. Here are a few of our favorite new selections:
The Anatomy of Murder: Ethical Transgressions and Anatomical Science during the Third Reich, by Sabine Hildebrandt: Of the many medical specializations to transform themselves during the rise of National Socialism, anatomy has received relatively little attention from historians. While politics and racial laws drove many anatomists from the profession, most who remained joined the Nazi party, and some helped to develop the scientific basis for its racialist dogma. Sabine Hildebrandt explores this forgotten paradigm of the “future dead.”
Fertility Holidays: IVF Tourism and the Reproduction of Whiteness, by Amy Speier: Fertility Holidays presents a critical analysis of white, working class North Americans’ motivations and experiences when traveling to Central Europe for donor egg IVF. Within this diaspora, patients become consumers, urged on by the representation of a white Europe and an empathetic health care system, which seems nonexistent at home. As the volume traces these American fertility journeys halfway around the world, it uncovers layers of contradiction embedded in global reproductive medicine.
Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, by Wesley J. Smith:
When his teenage son Christopher, brain-damaged in an auto accident, developed a 105-degree fever following weeks of unconsciousness, John Campbell asked the attending physician for help. The doctor refused. Why bother? The boy’s life was effectively over. Campbell refused to accept this verdict. He demanded treatment and threatened legal action. The doctor finally relented. With treatment, Christopher’s temperature—which had eventually reached 107.6 degrees—subsided almost immediately. Soon afterward the boy regained consciousness and was learning to walk again.
Culture of Death reveals how more and more doctors have withdrawn from the Hippocratic Oath and how “bioethicists” influence policy by posing questions such as whether organs may be harvested from the terminally ill and disabled. This is a passionate yet coolly reasoned book about the current crisis in medical ethics by an author who has made “the new thanatology” his consuming interest.