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Books, Journals, New Media
July 7, 1999

Health Care: Some Choice: Law, Medicine, and the Market

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1999;282(1):96-97. doi:10.1001/jama.282.1.96-JBK0707-5-1

In his ironically titled book Some Choice, George J. Annas makes the interesting claim that our rhetoric about medical and health care choice is more illusory than real and distracts us from a needed focus on fundamental health care issues. The rhetoric of choice, Annas says, has reached great prominence in public discourse, and to label a health care service as a "choice" is in some ways to arrest conversation and block serious analysis.

Annas uses cases from the areas of human cloning, emergency medicine, genetic privacy, human experimentation, tobacco control, and physician-assisted suicide, among others, to illustrate his argument and to show ways in which we can break through our vapid and superficial "some choice" public discourse and engage in a richer, more meaningful dialogue. A deeper public discourse, says Annas, will help us to transcend slogans and chants and to find ways to achieve the local, national, and international cooperation we need for defining, protecting, and promoting both health and human rights.