What Price Better Health? Hazards of the Research Imperative

Kaiser Permanente, The Permanente Medical Group, The Permanente Federation


by Daniel Callahan

Review by Lars Ursin

Spring 2007 - Volume 11 Number 2

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/06-031

Public spending is increasingly devoted to health care and medical research. In his book What Price Better Health? Hazards of the research imperative, Daniel Callahan, a founder of the Hastings Center for Bioethics, questions this development. According to Mr Callahan, society's demand for improved medical treatment can be conceptualized in terms of "the infinity model," which asserts that there is no limit to the benefits of continued medical research. This assertion invokes a moral duty to do medical research--a "'research imperative' ... the felt drive to use research to gain various forms of knowledge for its own sake, or as a motive to achieve a worthy practical end."1:p 3

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