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November 22, 1995

Principles of Health Care Ethics

Author Affiliations

McGill University Centre for Medicine Ethics and Law Montreal Children's Hospital Montreal, Quebec

JAMA. 1995;274(20):1637. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530200075044

The first thing to know about this book is that it is enormous: 1118 pages, 90 chapters, 100 contributors, 5.4 lbs. The second thing to know is that it is enormously expensive. A price tag of $295 will probably keep most people from buying it, with the possible exception of reference librarians and holders of large grants. The third thing to know is that it is a very peculiar book indeed—not quite a textbook, not quite an encyclopedia, not quite even a companion to medical ethics, yet something close to all three.

Raanan Gillon, the chief editor of the book (and also the editor of The Journal of Medical Ethics, based in London, England) writes in his introduction that the aims behind the volume are twofold. First, it attempts to introduce issues in health care ethics to English-speaking readers in a way that is more multidisciplinary and international than previous

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