The Ethics of Hospital Trustees by ProQuest


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									Vol. 26:2 summer 2010                                                                        Book	Reviews

The Ethics of Hospital Trustees
Bruce Jennings, Bradford H. Gray, Virginia A. Sharpe, Alan R. Fleischman, editors.
Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2004
I S B N 1 - 5 8 9 0 1 - 0 1 5 - 9 ; 2 8 4 PA G E S , H A R D C O V E R , $ 6 4 . 9 5

Based on original research and task force meetings with leading experts from across the United States,
The	Ethics	of	Hospital	Trustees is comprised of a series of essentially free-standing essays directed at
various aspects of a major decision-making group in health care – hospital trustees. Thirteen chapters,
divided into three sections, address legal and social context, ethical perspectives, and decisions and
systems in the practice of trusteeship.

While all are scholarly articles, they are written with varying degrees of audience appeal. Some articles
are quite engaging, others are fairly dry, but all are informative. The ten-page introduction is well-worth
reading and is a good overview for the essays. (If you read this book, don’t skip the introduction.) Not
only does it set the table for the upcoming articles, it also directs us to watch especially for the principles
which the editors define as fundamental to ethical trusteeship: 1) fidelity to mission, 2) service to
patients, 3) service to the community, and 4) institutional stewardship.

Much of the book’s material focuses on not-for-profit hospitals with one chapter devoted to Catholic
hospitals and systems. In the latter, the author does an exceptional job of delving into the complex
inter-relationships between Catholic hospitals and secular institutions vis-à-vis how far a mission-
driven, religiously based institution can bend without losing its essential qualities, explaining formal
and material
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