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Do We Still Need Doctors?

A physician's personal account of practicing medicine today

John D. Lantos


ISBN-13: 978-0415924955

Written with poignancy and compassion, Do We Still Need Doctors? is a personal account from the front lines of the moral and political battles that are reshaping America's health care system. Using compelling firsthand experiences, clinical vignettes, and moral arguments, John D. Lantos, a pediatrician, asks whether, as we proceed with the redesign of our health care system, doctors will -- or should -- continue to fulfill the roles and responsibilities that they have in the past. Interspersing moving personal stories of his young patients suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other chronic or terminal illnesses with his own stirring dilemmas of truth telling, creative navigation of HMO bureaucracy, and reflections on the identity crisis of medical education, Dr. Lantos reveals how changes in out health care system and new technologies are fostering new ways of understanding and responding to illness. He taps into the public's sense of wanting doctors and hospitals to do something other than what they do now and the frustrating disagreement about what they should do in the future.


"John Lantos, a pediatrician, teacher, and bioethicist, analyzes doctors' roles and responsibilities within the ever-metastasizing enterprise that we will call the health system." - Ethics and Medicine

"With intelligence and balance, Lantos guides the reader through the ethical morass of what has become a public debate." - Library Journal

"This thoughtful book is a literate and troubled search for the lost soul of doctoring. It is worth anyone's time to read this succinct and erudite contribution to the issues of the goals of medicine and doctoring." - Journal of the American Medical Association

About the Author

John Lantos Portrait

John Lantos grew up in the rugged mountains of western Pennsylvania coal country. His father, a physician, was his childhood hero and role model.  His mother, a poet at heart, inspired him to become a writer.  He is an award-winning pediatrician, a prolific author, a beloved teacher, and an inspirational speaker.


Lantos was a resident in DC during the national controversy about Baby Doe, a baby with Down Syndrome.  That sparked a lifelong interest in bioethics and led to a post-doc fellowship at The University of Chicago. There, his groundbreaking work on neonatal bioethics and health policy led to leadership roles as Chief of General Pediatrics and Associate Director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and Associate Editor of Pediatrics.  Fifteen years ago, he moved to Kansas City to create and develop the Children’s Mercy Bioethics Center. 

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