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Distributive Justice and the New Medicine

George P. Smith II, Professor of Law, The Catholic University of America Law School, US
The author begins by examining various economic constructs as aids for achieving a fair and equitable delivery of health care services. He then assesses their level of practical application and evaluates the costs and benefits to society of pursuing the development and use of the ‘New Medicine’. The book ends with a case study of organ and tissue transplantation that illustrates the implementation of distributive justice. The author concludes that as long as clinical medicine maintains its focus on healing and alleviating suffering among patients, a point of equilibrium will be reached that advances the common good.
Extent: 200 pp
Hardback Price: $135.00 Web: $121.50
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 757 9
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $42.00 Web: $33.60
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84980 062 4
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Health Policy and Economics
  • Law - Academic
  • Health Law
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Economics of Social Policy
  • Health Policy and Economics
Is the advancement of scientific knowledge and the development of biomedical technologies – known as the ‘New Medicine’ – desirable? George P. Smith asks this fundamental question while also confronting the distribution of these scarce medical resources. Law, economics, medical science, philosophy and ethics all coalesce in this discussion of how to structure normative standards of conduct that will improve the quality of human life.

The author begins by examining various economic constructs as aids for achieving a fair and equitable delivery of health care services. He then assesses their level of practical application and evaluates the costs and benefits to society of pursuing the development and use of the ‘New Medicine’. The book ends with a case study of organ and tissue transplantation that illustrates the implementation of distributive justice. The author concludes that as long as clinical medicine maintains its focus on healing and alleviating suffering among patients, a point of equilibrium will be reached that advances the common good.

This timely and compelling exploration will be a must-read for scholars, researchers, policymakers and all those interested in advances in medical technology and the issues surrounding access to health care.
‘Smith has packed an incredible amount of information into this relatively short and clearly written book. His erudition is unquestionable, and his knowledge of current trends in medical technology and the ethical issues surrounding them is obvious on every page.’
– P. Jenkins, Choice

‘George P. Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on the legal and ethical issues raised by modern medicine. His book is a wide-ranging and deeply informed and considered analysis of those issues, with particular emphasis on the inequality with which the benefits of modern medicine are bestowed on the sick. Knowledgeable as well about the technical aspects of the biomedical revolution, Smith writes with insight and authority, and offers a perspective that will influence the policy debates.’
– Richard A. Posner, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and University of Chicago Law School, US

‘While much has been written about the various issues addressed in this book – genetics, cloning, informed consent, organ donation – Smith’s book moves beyond traditional legal analysis, tying these issues together by examining them through the lens of distributive justice. He thus provides the reader with a unique and valuable perspective on this important area. Distributive Justice and the New Medicine will be of interest to all those interested in health law and bioethics and in particular for those interested in distributive justice.’
– Belinda Bennett, Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development

‘Professor George P. Smith’s Distributive Justice and the New Medicine
is a major new work by one of the world’s leading medical lawyers. This book brings important new insights into the complex area of rationing health care resources and should be read by anyone interested in seeking to create a just society.’
– Jonathan Herring, Exeter College, University of Oxford, UK
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Normative Standards and Health Care Resource
Management 3. The New Medicine and Scientific Research 4. Human Experimentation: Conflicts and Confluences 5. Organ and Tissue Transplantation: A Case Study in Distributive Justice Index