False Hopes, by Daniel Callahan

Medicine, Daniel Callahan argues, has become the sustainer of false hope in the face of death and dissolution. Callahan calls for a medicine more modest in its aspirations and more careful in its promises. Giving up the illusion that it can extend life indefinitely for a few, this new medicine would devote itself to making life better for the many. In making this argument Callahan raises an important theological question about the focus and claims of medicine. Without using explicitly theological language or making any proposals based on theology, he asks, "In what (or whom) do we hope?"

 

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