THE VIKING PRESS
Publishers of The Viking Portable Library and Viking Compass paperbacks
625 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022
Untested brain operations to alter your personality? Drugs to pacify people who doctors claim might otherwise become dangerous? Genetic engineering to weed out potential cancer patients, psychopaths, or "undesirables"? Wombs for hire! Mysterious and unwarranted experiments on human subjects?
... and many of these biomedical techniques are already in use. In Premeditated Man Dr. Richard Restak, a neurologist who has written extensively on all these subjects, gives us an informal and lively presentation of the facts about medicine and bioethics. He argues persuasively that it is time we had something to say in the decisions about such crucial technologies. "Our health; how long we will live; the quality of our lives --all these are dependent on biomedical technology. And there can be no turning back from that dependence." We must, Dr. Restak argues, be informed about the current capabilities for changing humanity as we know it; if we are ignorant, the changes will, be made without our knowledge-and against our interests.
Dr. Restak's dispassionate, yet in some sense shocking, book begins with a discussion of the issues raised in psychosurgery, the most dramatic form of behavior modification now in use. In the second part of Premeditated Man, he explores the implications of "genetic engineering" of all kinds: do we want to preselect our children and our children's children? Lastly, Dr. Restak analyzes the experiences, and the dreadful lessons, of past and present human experimentation.
"I've tried to integrate my experiences as physician and concerned citizen," Dr. Restak writes, for it is his belief that it is up to us, Americans, ordinary people, not doctors or government bureaucrats, to decide the fateful issues of biotechnology.