1998 U. Ill. L. Rev. 909 (1998)
Living Dangerously: A Defense of Mortal Peril

handle is hein.journals/unilllr1998 and id is 919 raw text is: LIVING DANGEROUSLY:
A DEFENSE OF MORTAL PERIL
Richard A. Epstein*
As one of the most controversial writers of our time, just the
name Richard Epstein draws immediate attention from all sectors
of academia. But if the hallmark of great ideas is the criticism they
engender, Professor Epstein's words and thoughts are powerful in-
deed. In Mortal Peril, Professor Epstein outlined a fundamental
shift in thinking that he claimed needed to occur before any discus-
sion of health care could take place. The final consensus of the
validity of Professor Epstein's views may still be a matter for his-
tory to judge, but in many ways, he has already won; with the
strength of his logic and convictions, he has forced other scholars
to address his concerns, and in doing so, he has refocused the de-
bate on health care. At the symposium, Professor Epstein proved
his indisputable eloquence and debating skill in answering and re-
futing the various points made by his many critics. Now, in writ-
ing, he thoughtfully considers and analyzes the views submitted by
his colleagues, and solidifies the ideas that first found their expres-
sion in Mortal Peril.
The papers in this symposium issue have followed the organiza-
tion that I adopted in Mortal Peril. The first part of that book dealt
with the broad dispute over the status of a positive right to health
care; the second section examined the pitfalls of that approach by
looking at a range of health-care regulations and reforms now firmly
entrenched in the United States. The third section focused on various
issues of individual choice by addressing issues of organ transplanta-
tion, physician-assisted suicide, and physician and hospital liability for
medically related accidents. Without further ado, I think that it is best
to follow that order in responding to the papers in the symposium,'
along with several others published elsewhere.2
* James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law, The University of Chicago.
A.B. 1964, Columbia College; B.A. 1966, Oxford University; L.L.B. 1968, Yale Law School. I
should like to thank David Hyman on an earlier draft, and Michael Maimin and Dan Sommers
for their diligent research assistance.
1. Omitted from this list is Professor Robert Rich's paper on federalism and health-care
policy, which, while it addresses critical issues in health care, does not speak directly to any of
the points I made in Mortal Peril.
2. See also Uwe E. Reinhardt, Wanted: A Clearly Articulated Social Ethic for American
Health Care, 278 JAMA 1446 (1997); Troyen A. Brennan, Moral Imperatives Versus Market So-
lutions: Is Health Care a Right?, 65 U. CHI. L. REv. 345 (1998) (review of Mortal Peril).

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