This book explores the controversial dilemmas which meet at the intersection of medicine philosphy and law - questions concerning killing and not killing which are faced daily in health care. They embrace euthanasia abortion the care of the elderly and the demented the care of the mentally ill children and those in a persistent vegative state. Who Owns our Bodies? identifies a crisis both in ethics and in empowerment as people face often neccessarily wretched choices. It seeks a framework of guidance for practical decision-making and focuses on two key issues. First who decides on an individual's quality of life and thus on their health care treatments? Second how can patients be empowered with a structure to enable choice self-realization self-reflection and self-responsibility? John Spiers with characteristic clarity and verve offers a fundamental choice between health care experienced as hierarchy and control and the alternative of choice and self-responsibilty. He argues that health care must rely on patients deciding how much power they have not on professionals deciding how much to grant them.
Introduction. Foundations. Purpose. Citizens. Staring. Notes. Who Owns our Bodies?. 'The truth's superb surprise'. Where is my country? The big sky. 'A' for autonomy? The hammers of the piano: empowerment. Myth and mystique: webs we make. Empowerment, and the punctuation mark. 'If I am not for me…'. References. Afterword. Definitions. Balance. Notes.