Table of Contents
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Vol. 33, No. 2 Winter 2008
Resolving the ethical dilemmas presented by modern medicine is not for the faint of heart. As technology introduces ever more perplexing questions, medical ethicists have stepped in to help caregivers, patients, and families chart the right course. Here's an inside look at DHMC's ethics committee, one of the nation's oldest.
By Lee Witters, M.D., et al.
Sometimes illumination comes from looking to the future—teasing out new knowledge at the lab bench. But sometimes it comes from delving into the past. A professor of endocrinology and three undergraduates perused 19th-century documents for clues to the changing understanding about one of today's most common chronic conditions.
When a DMS graduate enters practice, she learns that the patient-care part of medicine, which she loves, is subsumed in a sea of insurance contracts and billing codes. In this excerpt from a book about her experiences, she tells of navigating a whole new aspect of medicine.
Occasionally, medicine's humanitarian ends aren't well served by modern machinery. If a comatose patient on a ventilator won't ever wake up, for example, is the ventilator really serving a purpose? That's a question ethicists can help answer, as explored in the feature "On the Other Hand.." The cover photo is by Jon Gilbert Fox.
Charles Wira, Ph.D.
Kenneth DeHaven, M.D., '63
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