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August 4, 1989

Death, Dying, and the Biological Revolution: Our Last Quest for Responsibility

JAMA. 1989;262(5):704. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430050122049

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


This is a revision of Veatch's earlier work of the same title. In the 13 years since his first version, the field of medical ethics has become a growth industry, although by now most of the issues are being confronted.

The cases presented here are the same ones, by and large, as in the earlier volume and have become standard reference points. Little has been added since the first edition. For example, the Karen Quinlan case, referred to 4 times in his 1976 book, is discussed 10 times in the present volume. The volume provides a thorough review of the ethical issues pertaining to the definition of death, the application of extraordinary care, informing patients of a life-threatening illness, the harvesting of organs for transplant, and, finally, Veatch's pet idea The Pursuit of Immortality. It is in relation to the latter area that Veatch informs us that "the time has