Last year there appeared in these columns a review of Health and Human Values by Harron, Burnside, and Beauchamp (1983;250:1339). That book admirably considered the clinical ethical issues at the beginning and end of life and the concept of right to medical care. This reviewer has noted an increasing tide of biomedical ethical books in recent years, some good, some bad, a few very good—such as the volume by Harron et al, and the text at hand by Gorovitz. Until now, none of these has seemed ideal as a text for a course in medical ethics, either for practitioners or for undergraduate medical students and residents. But that gap has been filled now, I believe, using the Gorovitz book as a standard text, supplemented by discussions on specific issues and annotated references from Harron et al.
In the provocative opening chapter "Moral Mayhem in Modern Medicine" Gorovitz sets out the