Living with AIDS
Experiencing Ethical Problems
"Cameron brings us closer to understanding the complex emotions and fragmented, sometimes self-serving decision making of the victims of this twentieth-century plague, and teaches us that in helping them to tell their stories we may help prevent others from being infected. . . . It is clear throughout this remarkable work by an interviewer new to the practice of oral history that her questions helped her subjects think their way through their own problems. Living With Aids can be a guidebook and a source of strength for AIDS victims because of Cameron's use of what she calls "ethical listening and what experienced oral history practitioners often refer to as "non- judgmental" or "empathic" interviewing techniques."
--Oral History Review
"The author's skillful eliciting and selection of these simple and direct expressions of the human conflicts arising from this epidemic will be thought-provoking for people who want to understand it better, whether they are familiar with the issues or not and whether they are health care workers, ethicists or lay people."
--Journal of Medical Ethics
"This two-hundred page paperback provides a fascinating portrait of some of the many questions, concerns and problems with face those with chronic HIV infection and AIDS. . . . The book is fascinating and eminently readable for its account of life for those with HIV infection AIDS. It will be useful for researchers, social scientists, health care workers and, probably above all, people whose lives are in some way affected by HIV."
--Medical Sociology News
"This is an excellent book for practicing nurses and nursing students because it invites the reader to be part of each PWAs personal life. It moves the reader far beyond a technical, intellectual approach to AIDS. One is aware of the very human dilemmas facing each of the persons interviewed. . . .It is, in fact, a book for all who are concerned about the world today. For this is a book about the people who are being decimated by the plague of the 1990s. For 'they' are we."
--Journal of Professional Nursing
"Cameron describes with sensitivity the struggle of patients with the meaning of life and the search for a good life in the face of death. Because of the fundamental nature of the questions, the author's descriptive ethics are not only interesting for people dealing with AIDS. The book illustrates the need all chronically-ill people have for emotional support, understanding, and communication."
--Religious Studies Review
"[Cameron's book] contributes to the study of descriptive microethics and to nurses' increasing involvement in studying ethics. She defines ethical questions broadly and covers a variety of ethical and existential questions that people with serious chronic or lethal disease face as they try to manage their lives. . . . [This volume] is a novel addition to the emerging literature in ethics in nursing."
"In a fascinating new book by Miriam E. Cameron, Living With AIDS: Experiencing ethical problems, persons with AIDS discuss a relatively unexplored aspect of their lives. . . . This book is recommended for providers of health and other support services to PWAs (and persons significant to them) and to anyone who wants to better understand the moral dimensions of the AIDS epidemic. It uniquely describes what it is like for persons with AIDS to face ethical conflicts and the choices and decisions they make."
"Living With AIDS presents with astonishing clarity ethical dilemmas faced by the socially disadvantaged with AIDS. Their accounts, compared with accounts from the socially advantaged, highlight the universal seriousness with which patients seek to live life and resolve its inherent 'ethical' dilemmas. Patient accounts also highlight the magnitude and spectrum of ethical dilemmas faced by an increasingly diverse AIDS population. Presented and interpreted from the perspective of several ethical theories, patient accounts will enable health professionals to appreciate stages of life and provide adequate counsel to patients with different backgrounds who are searching for 'the right thing to do."
--Nancy C. Lovejoy, D.N.S., R.N., Teachers College, Columbia University
Persons with AIDS experience particularly difficult ethical problems because AIDS is life threatening, communicable, chronic, and stigmatizing. And even though ethicists and clinicians have written extensively about ethical problems related to AIDS, scholarly literature lacks research on the actual lived experiences of those facing such problems. Living With AIDS presents real-life problems and solutions as told by actual people living with AIDS, in their own words, and authentically illustrates their moral difficulties and resolutions revolving around such issues as relationships, sexuality, personhood, chronic illness, death, and discrimination. Their stories show how living with AIDS and its accompanying difficulties can lead to ethical living and creative problem solving on an individual level--as well as institutional, professional, and societal levels. Living With AIDS will appeal to health professionals who wish to better understand the experiences of PWAs, to see their connection with HIV-infected persons, and to be more knowledgeable and effective advocates. This illustrative volume will also be of immense value for instructors teaching courses in AIDS, health, and ethics.