In parlous times, humanistic problems pressing on the body politic become ever more obtrusive. We must take decisions (as Kant said) on the basis of knowledge sufficient for action but insufficient to satisfy the intellect. This is nothing new. It is remindful of the course taken at the birth of this nation by those remarkable statesmen, the Founding Fathers, whose problems were of comparable magnitude for the times.
The book here considered resulted from some 2½ years of labor by a working party of Quakers: six physicians, a theologian, a federal judge, and a social worker. It was written when the American Friends Service Committee of Philadelphia requested a statement on the problems of contraception and abortion. In the course of the work the discussion broadened to include problems of genetic counseling, eugenics, and the prolongation of the life of the dying.
The book is an interesting reference for