What Price Better Health: Hazards of the Research Imperative

Daniel Callahan
(University of California Press, 2005)

The idea that there is an absolute moral obligation to pursue medical research is deeply imbedded in American cultural and American health care. The aim of this book is to argue against that idea, contending instead that it is a social good but one always to put in the context of a comparison with other important social goods, such as education, equitable access to available care, and welfare needs. To treat research as an imperative opens the way to many abuses. In addition to this argument, the book examines research and the drug industry, efforts to enhance human characteristics, human subject research, pluralism, and priority setting in research.

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