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Tough Choices

Tough Choices

Living and dying in the 21st century

By Maureen A McTeer


The achievements of medical science in the last years of the twentieth century are staggering. From research on human embryos to the commercialisation of life, from genetic testing to genetically engineered foods, from organ transplants to assisted suicide and euthanasia, medical technology now touches us intimately at every stage of our lives. We now have the unprecedented power to create, manipulate, and alter human life in the laboratory. Our very definitions of who we are and what it means to be human are challenged.

How do we balance the ability of science and technology to enhance our lives with the obligation to protect our individual and collective interests? This is perhaps the most important question facing individuals and policy makers as we enter a new millennium. In Tough Choices: Living and Dying in the 21st Century, Maureen McTeer addresses this question and seeks to make sense of the flood of information and points of view that confront us on these issues. As a lawyer, teacher, and political activist, few Canadians are in a better position to examine the legal and ethical dilemmas with which we are faced.

Tough Choices: Living and Dying in the 21st Century is a wake-up call to Canadians to participate in the debate, the outcome of which will surely affect every aspect of our lives. The book is written not only for lawyers and health professionals. As Ms McTeer points out, everyone of us will be affected by the scope and promise of science and technology. This book is intended to provide Canadians with some of the tools to make the tough choices that these scientific and technological developments present to us in our personal lives and in the arena of public policy.


Part One: Conception

Reproductive technologies: challenges for regulation
Issues of legitimacy and inheritance
Federal initiatives and constitutional jurisdiction
Embryos: the new frontier of human research

Part Two: Commercialization

Knowing ourselves, protecting our rights
Biotechnology: looking to the future
The commercialization of life

Part Three: Consent

Keeping control
Organ and tissue donation: an urgent need
A right to die?
Assisted suicide


Some final thoughts

Glossary/ Notes/ Further Readings and Resources/ Selected Bibliography/ Selected Table of Statutes/ Index


Published November 1999
Publisher Irwin Law (Canada)
ISBN 9781552210406
Australian RRP $34.95
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Law - Health Law
Law - Canadian Law

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