Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America may be my most successful and impactful book. And, after nearly 14 years, it is still selling.
But COD, like its author, is getting a bit long in the tooth. That is why I am very pleased that Encounter Books has agreed to publish an updated and revised version, probably late next year.
Think about the stories and controversies in bioethics that have roiled the country–and challenged our collective morality–since the book came out:
- The Terri Schiavo dehydration;
- The growing euthanasia horrors in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland;
- Obamacare and the specter of death panels;
- The mainstream bioethics movement’s conniption fit over the conservative President’s Council on Bioethics;
- The worsening of the exploitation of the body parts and functions of the poor and destitute, a phenomenon I call biological colonialism;
- Continued advocacy for “after birth abortion.
- The Jahi McMath brain death controversy.
The list goes on and on.
I have been rereading COD for the first time in several years and find that my problem isn’t going to be what to include, but exclude–and deciding what original material has to go. I could write another book-length critique on the continuing challenges to Hippocratic values in medicine and healthcare public policy.
I have already decided on one change: The chapter on animal rights will go since the work I did for COD on that issue led directly to my writing A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy.
Well, back to the old writing salt mines. But then, that is precisely where I like to be!