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Who hasn't wondered what it's like to be a dog or bird? Such questions seem unanswerable because we have no way of getting into an animal's mind. Marc Bekoff's work on animal behavior and mind draws world-wide attention for its originality and its probing into what animals might know as well as what skills (mental and physical) are needed to live life successfully as a member of a particular species. Convinced that individuals of every species have some level of self-awareness, Bekoff embarks on fascinating (and often amusing) observations of animals playing, leaving and detecting scent-marks, solving problems, and behaving fairly toward each other. Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues brings together some of his path-breaking research papers, essays on science and ethics, and popular articles in order to reveal a remarkable range of animal behaviors but also to argue that the ethical treatment of animals is an especially significant issue now.
Few things make people react more strongly to the changes going on in health care than the word standardization. Critics shudder at the mindless sameness of standards, while supporters dream of a world in which standardized "best practices" open up a world of efficient health care delivery. The Gold Standard takes up this debate to investigate the real meaning of standardization and how it affects patients, doctors, and the institution of medicine. Showing that standards are not about less or more skills, or more or less uniformity, but rather about a redefinition of autonomy, patients, and relationships, Timmermans and Berg show instead that they are about creating new worlds of medical treatment. Cutting through the hype and fears, the authors show where the true powers of standardization lie. The Gold Standard will become a classic for students of medicine and health care policy, and will be a welcome book for anyone concerned with the future of our system of care.
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