Books on this Shelf
This is Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. This is the podcast for Episode 14: The Medical Ethics Edition. My name is Eli, I’m also called the book supplier. Thanks for listening.
The first two books on our medical ethics shelf deal with this medical ethics question: Is it ethical to end one life to save another?
First on the shelf this week is Unwind by Neal Shusterman. In a near-future world, where 100% of a person can be transplanted to other people, and in the aftermath of the Second Civil War — a war between the pro-choice and pro-life armies, teenagers can be retroactively aborted — and transplanted to other people who need transplants. Unwind follows three AWOL unwinds, Connor, Risa and Lev, who are all being unwound for diferent reasons.
Second on the shelf is House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Matteo Alacran was created in order to sustain the life of a man called El Patron, who is a drug lord. Because he was grown in a cow, and not born of a woman, people treat Matt like he’s an animal, not a person. Matt understands that he and El Patron are the same person, and that El Patron is evil, so he struggles with who he is and what he’s capable of becoming.
The next three books on the shelf deal with biomedical ethics, but not ending a life to sustain another’s.
The first of these is The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. Jenna is seventeen and has just come out of a coma. She doesn’t remember her life, or anything else. She’s been told her name and that she was in a terrible accident. The novel follows Jenna’s search and discovery of who she really is. I can’t talk specifically about how medical ethics plays into this story without giving away what will happen. You’ll just have to read it to find out.
The second of these, and fourth on the shelf this week is Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. After a debilitating accident, Eve, whose mother is head of a company that does scientific research, is set the task of creating the genetically perfect guy. While she does this, other members of the company are trying to take the company down from the inside, by uncovering the questionable research that happens outside what’s seen in the company’s public persona.
Like the company in Eve and Adam, TroDyn, the company in The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen, is doing some questionable testing. This novel follows Mason, a teenager who finds himself in the middle of a chase that he doesn’t entirely understand. When he helps a girl escape from a nursing home, and run away from TroDyn he finds himself down the proverbial rabbit hole, and struggling to find the connection between the girl, her tattoo, and a father he’s never known, who interestingly sports the same tattoo.
So there you have five novels that deal with medical ethics: Unwind, House of the Scorpion, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, Eve and Adam and The Gardener.
And that’s it for this episode. For the Feature Shelf archives and show notes, both video and podcast, or to request your own Feature Shelf check out thebooksupplier.com/featureshelf. You can also send me requests on Facebook or Twitter at thebooksupplier (all one word) or an email at thebooksupplier at gmail dot com.
I’m going to leave you there now, dear readers. Thanks for listening to Feature Shelf #14: The Medical Ethics Edition. As always, I am the supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.