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May 7, 1982

Medical Ethics and the Law: Implications for Public Policy

JAMA. 1982;247(17):2423-2424. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320420067044

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The title of this collection of essays is somewhat misleading; it suggests that the reader will find a lot of legal scholarship with ethical evaluation of the law and its implications for public policy. Rather, the book brings together three subdisciplines with their own perspectives on health and medical care: medical ethics, law and medicine, and health policy research. The avowed purpose of the editor is to bring ethical theory into closer contact with the study of public policy relating to health and medical care. All too often, medical ethics and the study of public policy pass each other without contact; the former is often abstract and frequently case oriented, and thus not in touch with specific policy problems; the latter is usually grounded in specifics, but makes no attempt to articulate and defend the ethical presuppositions of its analyses and evaluations.

The 21 essays are organized into five general