Drawing the Line: Life, Death, and Ethical Choices in an American Hospital

Temple University Press (1991)
In 1985, philosopher Samuel Gorovitz spent seven weeks at Boston's Beth Israel, one of the nation's premier teaching hospitals, where he was given free run as "Authorized Snoop and Irritant-at-Large." In Drawing the Line, he provides an intense, disturbing, and insightful account of his observations during those seven weeks. Gorovitz guides us through an operating room and intensive care units, and takes us to meetings where surgeons discuss the mishaps of the preceding week, where internists map out their approaches to troublesome cases, where the administration discusses competition in the health care market. He follows as residents walk the ragged edge of physical exhaustion, as experienced physicians wrestle with the uncertainties of their demanding profession, as nurses struggle to care for perpetually declining patients. Most important, he examines the ethical questions that permeate their lives--deeply troubling questions such as who should be making life and death decisions--and how should they be made? How should scarce medical resources be allocated? What rules should govern the use of fetal tissue in research and treatment? Where should we draw the line, and how? When Samuel Gorovitz published Doctors' Dilemmas, a previous look at medical ethics, it was hailed by Norman Cousins as "stimulating and valuable...the product of a beautifully formed (and informed) mind." Studs Terkel called it "quite remarkable...a very exciting book indeed." In Drawing the Line, Gorovitz offers an unusual look at contemporary health care, combining a moving, hard-hitting glimpse of daily reality at a major hospital with the thoughtful, provocative reflections of a highly respected philosopher.
Keywords Medical ethics  Hospital care Moral and ethical aspects
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1993
Buy the book $2.14 used (90% off)   $11.50 new (46% off)   $20.95 direct from Amazon    Amazon page
Call number R725.5.G67 1993
ISBN(s) 1566391490  
DOI 10.1086/293465
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,300
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
My notes
Sign in to use this feature