Buy New
  • List Price: $154.99
  • Save: $66.27 (43%)
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Deciding for Others: The Ethics of Surrogate Decision Making (Studies in Philosophy and Health Policy) Hardcover – January 26, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0521324229 ISBN-10: 052132422X

Buy New
Price: $88.72
12 New from $88.72 6 Used from $144.28
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$88.72 $144.28

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Philosophy and Health Policy
  • Hardcover: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 26, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052132422X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521324229
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,718,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In this book, the authors, both professors of philosophy and members of the President's Commission on Medical Ethics, set out a theoretical framework for deciding who is competent to make his own life-or-death decision and who should decide for the incompetent. They advocate "pa tient-centered principles," not paternalism, and would rely on the family, not doctors or courts, for surrogate decisions. The best solution is to have an "advance directive" which specifies the surrogate decision maker and what should not be done to keep one alive. Instead of the "basic interest" found in estate law, the authors substitute "best interest." In the book's second section, they apply the "best interest" principle to cases involving minors, newborns, the elderly, and the mentally ill. For subject collections.
- Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"Few problems in medicine so puzzle and pain families, healthcare workers, and officials as much as those about making decisions for incompetent people. Allen Buchanan and Dan Brock have made a signal, and major, contribution to the analysis of such issues. They have, first of all, contributed an elegant and thoughtful theory, and then they have moved, second, from the theoretical to the practical realm, trying to spell out how in practice the incompetent might best be respected and treated. This book will have a central and enduring place in future discussion, pertinent not only to those interested in the theoretical questions, but to those charged with actually caring for, and deciding for, the incompetent. It will help illuminate a problem that seems both intractable and painful. That is a giant contribution." Daniel Buchanan, Director of the Hastings Center

"Buchanan and Brock's treatment of surrogate decision making is an outstanding example of the type of scholarship which the field [of bioethics] needs. The combination of its intellectual virtues with its comprehensiveness of treatment will make this book the standard work on this important topic for years to come." Baruch A. Brody, Baylor College of Medicine

"Buchanan and Brock's special contribution is to bring systematic moral reasoning and consideration of social and institutional practices to bear on a spectrum of questions related to incompetence. The result is a subtle, selective, and philosophically sophisticated work." Hastings Center Report

"Deciding for Others addresses an important issue with wide-ranging implications for health care and will undoubtedly become a work of major significance." Dermot K. Feenan, Journal of Health, Politics, Policy and Law

"This excellent and challenging book discusses virtually the whole range of ethical questions that arise when medical decisions must be made by someone other than the patient....Buchanan and Brock's invigorating treatment will remain a key point of departure for anyone who wants to better understand the ethics of treatment refusal." Medical Humanities Review

"From such a pair one would expect a landmark, and one is not disappointed." Jonathan D. Moreno, Ethics

"Deciding for Others has much to teach the general reader who may have read press coverage of major court descisions such as Cruzan. It also makes an enormous contribution to current scholarly debates regarding surrogate decision making in medicine, law, and ethics. Brock and Buchanan move present debates forward by leaps and bounds." Uriel Barzal

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James L. Park on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Allen E. Buchanan & Dan W. Brock
Deciding for Others: The Ethics of Surrogate Decision Making

(Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989) 422 pages

This is perhaps the best and most comprehensive book on medical
decision-making for pre-persons, full persons, & former persons,
who might not be capable of deciding for themselves.
It is especially relevant for the proxy provisions of any Advance Directive.

The major themes:

(1) determining competence;

(2) patient-centered principles for deciding;

(3) Advance Directives and continuity of personhood;

(4) considering the impact on society;

(5) deciding for infants and minors;

(6) deciding for the elderly;

(7) proxies for people with behavioral problems.

This book is recommended for everyone making decisions for others.

If you would like to read my reviews of other books on Advance Directives,
search the Internet for this exact phrase:
"Books on Advance Directives for Medical Care".

James Leonard Park, medical ethicist
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Jonathan W. Schur on December 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am very happy with the quality of your product. Amazon is my primary shopping site. I am impressed with the ease in ordering, the updated information, the follow-up, the tracking, and the timely manner my order was received.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Matteson II on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Buchanan write a very thought provoking book. Deciding for others is an important part of making policy, and indeed should be considered by anyone who cares for those who cannot care for themselves or make their needs/desires known.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again