Well, after my recent TV appearance, it is only natural to follow up by broadening my media reach to include the world of books.
A January 2009 feature article I wrote for American Medical News, “Redefining death: A new ethical dilemma,” is included in a new textbook issued by Greenhaven Press. The book, “Bioethics in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” is part of the publisher’s “Social Issues in Literature” series aimed at high-school students and is meant to be a companion for when they read the novel.
The book is broken into three sections — one with background about Shelley, the second featuring commentaries on bioethical issues in the novel, and the third highlighting “contemporary perspectives on bioethics.” That third section is where my story on transplant physicians pushing the boundaries of what constitutes death comes in. Greenhaven sent me a complimentary copy of the book, and perhaps this will push me to actually read the Shelley classic.
The important thing to note is that my prose may now potentially help educate America’s youth — a frightening prospect, indeed. This is almost as scary as when one of my articles — about a poll on physicians’ views of doctor-assisted suicide — was cited by a Montana judge in her opinion (page 22) granting terminally ill patients in that state the constitutional right to physician-aided death. Alarmingly, my sphere of influence is growing ever wider.