Northern Illinois University Press

Life, Death, and Public Policy

Robert H. Blank

Biomedical technology promises many benefits for many people but also raises critical dilemmas. When should technology intervene in the life process? How should the needs of society and the needs of the individual be balanced? Who pays?

Robert Blank's incisive study presents a valuable overview of the complexities of biomedical policy. This first general analysis deals with a wide range of issues concerning the public policies that govern the use of medical resources.

Life, Death, and Public Policy examines the policy implications of a myriad of new biomedical technologies under categories that correspond to four stages of life: at or prior to conception, during the prenatal period, during the life cycle, and at the end of life.

Opening with an examination of the link between bioethics and public policy, Blank surveys the major issues arising from medical advances in human genetics, reproduction technologies, transplants, and life extension. He also discusses the question of euthanasia and the implications of a definition of death. The technologies are lucidly described, and the political ramifications of each issue are made clear.

(1988) 187 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-540-5
paper $15.00

Table of Contents

1 The Policy Context of Biomedicine
2 Human Genetic and Reproductive Intervention
3 Prenatal Intervention
4 Biomedical Issues Within the Life Cycle
5 Death Related Issues in Biomedicine
6 Policy Decision in Biomedicine: Making Hard Choices

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-540-5
paper $15.00