This volume is a collection of essays on a variety of subjects involving medical, ethical, and legal issues. They have been published in the Hastings Center Report, the authoritative bioethics periodical, during the past decade.
The author is a lawyer well known in the area of medical law. He has attempted to arrange the essays into subject areas like patient rights, conception, pregnancy and birth, reproductive liberty (abortion), medical practice, mental retardation and incompetence, death and dying, governmental regulations, and transplants-implants. There is a fair amount of redundancy in this format, so that the same legal case is described more often than one would like.
While the essays were of course current when originally published and frequently involved ethical, medical, and legal cases in the news at the time, they have lost a bit of that freshness now. The author's effort to update the legal history of some of the