TAMING THE BELOVED BEAST: How Medical Technology Costs are Destroying Our Health Care System, by Daniel Callahan, co-founder of the Hastings Center, Published Today

Sep 30, 2009, 14:36 ET from Princeton University Press

PRINCETON, N.J., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Your elderly father is ill. Would you be prepared to tell him that he will not be getting the necessary diagnostic tests because he is over the age of 65? TAMING THE BELOVED BEAST: How Medical Technology Costs are Destroying Our Health Care System (Cloth $29.95, 978-0-691-14236-4, September 30, 2009) is a provocative new take on the toughest issue President Obama has yet faced in office. Daniel Callahan -- noted ethicist and co-founder of the Hastings Center -- argues that we must fundamentally alter the system, now that organizational changes alone are no longer an option. Only by shaking the establishment to its core can progress be made and it all starts with tough calls that we, as a nation, need to face.

Technological innovation is deeply woven into the fabric of American culture, and is no less a basic feature of American health care. Medical technology saves lives, relieves suffering, and is enormously popular with the public, profitable for doctors, and a source of great wealth for industry. Doctors order diagnostic tests as easily as you or I shop online but costs are rising at a dangerously unsustainable rate. The control of technology costs poses a terrible ethical dilemma that can only be addressed by revisions to policy. How can we deny people what they may need to live and flourish? TAMING THE BELOVED BEAST takes an in-depth look at how we got here and where we need to go.

Callahan thoroughly weighs the ethical arguments for and against limiting the use of medical technologies and argues that reining in health care costs requires us to change entrenched values about progress and technological innovation. TAMING THE BELOVED BEAST shows that the cost crisis is as great as that of the uninsured. Only a government-regulated universal health care system can offer the hope of managing technology and making it affordable for all.

"Dan Callahan is one of the most important thinkers in health care today. Love him or hate him, you need to reckon with his ideas. TAMING THE BELOVED BEAST is a direct challenge to the central health care issue of our time--the capability and cost of medical care."

-- David Cutler, Harvard University

"The only major book . . . that places the escalating costs of medical technology at the center of the health care reform maelstrom."

-- Alan B. Cohen, Boston University Health Policy Institute

About the Author:

Daniel Callahan is senior researcher and president emeritus at the Hastings Center, which he cofounded, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His many books include Medicine and the Market.


How Medical Technology Costs Are Destroying Our Health Care System

Daniel Callahan

Cloth | ISBN: 978-0-691-14236-4 | $29.95 / 20.95 pounds Sterling

288 pp. | 6 x 9 | 1 table

Publication Date: September 30, 2009

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SOURCE Princeton University Press