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The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease

Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying

Stephen G. Post

second edition
Publication Date
Binding Type

Society today, writes Stephen Post, is "hypercognitive": it places inordinate emphasis on people's powers of rational thinking and memory. Thus, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, which over an extended period incrementally rob patients of exactly those functions, raise many dilemmas. How are we to view—and value—persons deprived of what some consider the most important human capacities?

In the second edition of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease, Post updates his highly praised account of the major ethical issues relating to dementia care. With chapters organized to follow the...

Society today, writes Stephen Post, is "hypercognitive": it places inordinate emphasis on people's powers of rational thinking and memory. Thus, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, which over an extended period incrementally rob patients of exactly those functions, raise many dilemmas. How are we to view—and value—persons deprived of what some consider the most important human capacities?

In the second edition of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease, Post updates his highly praised account of the major ethical issues relating to dementia care. With chapters organized to follow the progression from mild to severe and then terminal stages of dementia, Post discusses topics including the experience of dementia, family caregiving, genetic testing for Alzheimer disease, quality of life, and assisted suicide and euthanasia. New to this edition are sections dealing with end-of-life issues (especially artificial nutrition and hydration), the emerging cognitive-enhancing drugs, distributive justice, spirituality, and hospice, as well as a critique of rationalistic definitions of personhood. The last chapter is a new summary of practical solutions useful to family members and professionals.

Reviews

Reviews

Post has provided a well-researched book with an outstanding bibliography that will be helpful to all caregivers as well as health care providers. The text provides information to guide readers before and during ethical and moral decision making and is very sensitive to the various emotions one endures when the diagnosis is AD.

In summary, then, Post proposes a new ethic in regard to terminal dementia care. The considerations proposed in this book offer a meaningful guide to both health care professionals and families in dealing with these special issues and advocate a natural death for these patients, freeing families from the sometimes enormous sense of guilt they encounter in making decisions about life extending interventions.

Health professionals who deal with dementia, as well as family members who care for relatives who become disabled, will find this book thoughtful, engaging, and provocative.

The genuine concern and caring that permeates this well-researched, informative and moving book leads me to recommend it highly both to academic and general readers.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
176
ISBN
9780801864100
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Defining the Task
Chapter 2. The Family Caregiver: Partnership in Hope
Chapter 3. Fairhill Guidelines on Ethics and the Care of

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Defining the Task
Chapter 2. The Family Caregiver: Partnership in Hope
Chapter 3. Fairhill Guidelines on Ethics and the Care of People with Alzheimer Disease
Chapter 4. Genetic Education for a Too-Hopeful Public
Chapter 5. The Humane Goal: Enhancing the Well-Being of Persons with Dementia
Chapter 6. Dying with Dignity: The Case Against Artificial Nutrition and Hydration
Chapter 7. An Argument Against Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Context of Progressive Dementia
Chapter 8. Toward a New Ethics of Dementia Care
References
Index

Author Bio
Stephen G. Post
Featured Contributor

Stephen G. Post, Ph.D.

Stephen G. Post is the director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. He is the author of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease: Ethical Issues from Diagnosis to Dying.