Book review: Medical Ethics and the Future of Healthcare
This wide ranging compilation of lectures, hosted by the Adelaide Hospital Society in Dublin in 1999, kicks off with a great overview of the current state of medical ethics. This sets the stage for an edited text that is meant to provide the lay reader with a basic introduction to medical ethics. Unfortunately, the varied chapters fall victim to discontinuity, reducing this work to an insufficient reference resource.
The book does cover some of the basics of ethics, such as patient autonomy and consent. Cusack argues that the increase in litigation by patients reflects a movement towards autonomy, as medical providers are increasingly scrutinised by empowered patients. Webb follows by reviewing the subject of ethics as applied to psychology and psychiatry and concludes that psychiatrists still wield considerable power over patients. Hanafin discusses whether the right to die should be covered by legislation, criticising Irish society for its inability to