ethiCs & mediCine
ultimately ‘all healing, however it comes about—is a blessing of the world to come’ (180). Thus seen
from a Christian and eschatological perspective, healing is a ‘partial realisation in the here and now of
something that will finally be accomplished there and then’ (181).
This book is invaluable for a proper understanding of the shift that has taken place in medical ethics in
tandem with an increasingly secular outlook in Western society.
Reviewed by Agneta Sutton, PhD, who is a Senior Lecturer at Chichester University and a
Visiting Lecturer at Heythrop College in the University of London, both in the UK.
End-of-Life Decision Making: A Cross-National Study
Robert H. Blank and Janna C. Merrick, Editors. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.
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This volume examines what is the very basis of bio-ethical study: end-of-life issues. In the words of Blank,
‘This book is an attempt to provide a foundation for more in-depth study of the issues by placing end-
of-life decision making in a comparative context.’ (5) End-of-life policies and population characteristics
from twelve countries (Brazil, Beijing, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Taiwan,
Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America) were included. Experts from each country
were given a list of research questions, varying in focus from governmental policies and costs of end-
of-life care to cultural factors that impact family and/or individual decision making at the end-of-life.
The title of Chapter 13, ‘Death and Dying: The American Experience,’ is a misnomer since it concerns
only the United States of America and does not address end-of-life in South America, Latin America
One of the strengths of this book is that native experts present data from their home