The concept of community is increasingly the focus of political argument in Britain, the United States and elsewhere around the world. The sense people have of belonging to coummunities provides a powerful motivation which continues to affecct the political and social face of the world. Recently, debate about the relationship between individuals and their communities has become central to the making of both, American and European social policy. In the United Kingdom this is especially apparent in the area of health care, where ideas of community have informed recent legislation concerning community care, community health trusts and the Children Act among others.
This volume explores the focus of interest in community and the emerging theoretical oppostion between communitarianism and liberalism, as well as the practical, theoretical and ethical issues relating to community in the health care professions, including a discussion of the health service as Civil Association, an analysis of liberal and communitarian views on the allocaiton of health care resources, an exploration of the use of genetic information and an examination of health care decision making for incapacitated elderly patients.