While tens of thousands of people across the United States serve on hospital and other healthcare ethics committees , almost no carefully prepared educational material exists for HEC members. Ethics by Committee is a one volume collection of chapters developed exclusively for this educational purpose. Experts in bioethics, clinical consultation, health law, and social psychology from across the country contribute chapters on ethics consultation, education, and policy development.
The need for change in the system of health care delivery in the United States has finally emerged as a political issue alongside continuing budget deficits, a growing national debt, declining educational outcomes, and decreased competitiveness of American business in the global economy. The two most pressing health care problems at the present time are rapidly increasing costs and lack of access to the system. A more distant but potentially more recalcitrant problem is the ageing of our population. This paper (...) outlines and discusses some of the options for reform which are currently under consideration in the United States. (shrink)