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March 14, 1977

Biomedical Ethics and the Law

Author Affiliations

Santa Cruz, Calif

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1155. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380099034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The past decade has seen an eruption of medical controversies that have puzzled physicians and laymen alike, the former because strategies required in their resolution are often outside the sphere of "routine" scientific thinking or model manipulation, the latter because these controversies often involve legal and philosophical concepts that have indistinct frontiers.

This new book sketches five of such changing questions with a series of challenging background articles on each. All contributors are authorities in their fields. The subjects include abortion, mental illness, human experimentation, human genetics, and dying. Most of the papers are reprints from philosophical and sociological journals between 1969 and 1973. Their collection here offers a unified compilation of seed materials and a source book for students interested in exploring these topics.

The editors provide an admirable selection of articles on the moral, ethical, and scientific background of human experimentation, including the rights of experimental subjects. It