ISSN 1535-7821
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Vol. 20 No. 1 2004

Link to ArticleNote from the Chair

Link to ArticleChair’s Message, CAPHIS Opportunities. Naomi Broering

Link to ArticleChair’s Message, part  deux. CAPHIS Applauds Active Members. Naomi Broering

Link to ArticleArticles

Link to ArticleConsumer Health Librarians and Patient Safety. Lorri Zipperer

Link to ArticleGold Rush 2004. A review of two programs from the west coast meeting. Laura Brown and Gail Kouame

Link to ArticleNews & Events

Link to ArticleMLA Annual Meeting: CAPHIS Seizes Power. Eris Weaver

Link to ArticleR.S.V.P. Required: first ever reception for CAPHIS

Link to ArticleThe Second Canadian Conference on Literacy and Health

Link to ArticleBook Reviews

Link to ArticleCarlson, Karen J., M.D., Stephanie A. Eisenstadt, M.D. & Terra Ziporyn, Ph.D. The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health.

Link to ArticleThe Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers.

Link to ArticleTurkington, Carol, and Allen B. Sussman. The Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders.

Link to ArticleEncyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd ed.

Link to ArticlePublication Information

Note From the Chair

Chair's Message: CAPHIS Organization and Committee Appointment Opportunities

Naomi C. Broering, CAPHIS Chair

As promised at the CAPHIS Business meeting in San Diego, I have been working to organize a roster of our standing and ad hoc CAPHIS committees. I wish to thank all the committees and chairs for accomplishing so much work this year.  The committees are an essential part of the progress CAPHIS is able to achieve in maintaining an excellent Website and providing quality services for all our section members.  The CAPHIS committees are responsible for the benefits you receive, including the Top 100, Discussion List, Webmaster, E-Newsletter, Membership Roster, Communications Publications, Programs, Database Development and Bylaws.  This year, everyone has been extremely responsive in providing information when needed and helping to update our section’s records.

back to top

I wish to invite all of our current and new members to join our Committees.  There are many opportunities to volunteer and join CAPHIS committees for 2004-7. Most committee members start on a committee with a three year term. The committees  meet officially at the MLA meeting as called by the committee chair.  There is still time to get a committee appointment this year. 

To volunteer see and scroll down to the Committee Application Form, or you can contact our Membership Committee Chair, Deborah Batey, at

List of Current Committee Chairs and CAPHIS Officers

Bylaws Committee Chair: David Duggar, 2003- 2005,

This committee is responsible for updating the Bylaws as needed and advising the Executive Committee on policy decisions requiring a review or bylaws change.  Committee positions are available for 2004.

Communications Committee Chair: Bill Smith, 2003-2006,  This Committee encourages publications and submission of articles to the MLA News Members include the Newsletter Editors, Howard Fuller and Nancy Dickerson. Bill Smith is also MLA News Section editor..

Consumer Connections Newsletter Chair and Co editor Howard Fuller, 2003-2006 and co Editor, Nancy Dickerson, 2003-2006 and Book Reviews editor Barbara Bibel, 2003-2005

Governmental Relations Chair Kay Hogan-Smith, 2003 – 2005,

This committee keeps apprised of all MLA governmental affairs, submits news pertaining to consumer health issues to Consumer Connections and the MLA News. A position is available for 2004.

CAPHIS Top 100 Committee Chair, Rosalind Dudden, 2003-2006,  This committee has reviews websites for the top 100 list.  New members appointed last year include: Virginia Bender 2003-2006, Laura Brown 2003-2006 and Barbara Bibel 2003-2006.  New members are welcome to this committee.

Database Development Advisory Representative, Stephanie Weldon, 2003-2006 Stephanie.Weldon@UCHSC.eduThe Database Development advisory representative recruited a group of CAPHIS members to participate in indexing and organizing topics discussed on the CAPHIS Discussion List.  New volunteers are needed for this important work.

Membership Committee Chair, Deborah Batey, 2003-2006, committee recruits new members, maintains membership records, and develops publicity brochures. Three new positions are available in 2004. 

Website Task Force Chair, Michele Spatz, 2003-2006,  This taskforce reviews the website on a regular basis, advising the webmaster of needed edits and site changes.  The Task force works closely with the Top 100 Committee and Database Development Advisory Representative. This was a new position established in 2003.

Special Projects and Responsibilities

History Project Chair Michele Spatz

CAPHIS Nominee to the Section Council election for the MLA Nominating Committee, Susan Murray:

CAPHIS Officers 2003-2004

Chair, Naomi C. Broering, is responsible for coordinating the work of the section, preparing an annual report and working with the Treasurer, Secretary and Section Council Representative to assure that fiscal, operational records and communications are maintained. 

Secretary, Jennifer Friedman, 2003-2006,

Treasurer, Marge Kars, 2003-2006,

Section Council Representative, Javier Crespo 2003-2005,

The chair, Naomi C. Broering will become Nominating Committee Chair 2004-2005.  Two to three new members will be recruited for the nominating committee.

Chair Elect and Program Chair, Eris Weaver 2003- 2004. The Program Chair develops  exciting and compelling programs for the annual meeting. 

Past Chair and Nominating Committee Chair Lucy Thomas 2003-2004. Lucy and her committee recruits members for the Executive Committee, including a new section Chair.  They prepare a section ballot and count the returns.

Once again, I encourage you to submit an application form to sign up for a CAPHIS committee.  See

See you at the MLA meeting in Washington DC and don’ forget to submit your name and address for our Reception invitation!

Chair's Message, part deux

CAPHIS applauds active members for their work on the Database Development project and CAPHIS Web based services

Naomi C. Broering, CAPHIS Chair

The CAPHIS Database Development Task Force

Stephanie Weldon, Chair, NNLM/MCR, Denison Memorial Library, UCHSC, Denver, CO

Rose Jackson, Librarian, Providence Hospital, Portland, OR

Laura Brown, Jesse Medical Library and Information Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA

Sharon Lezotte, Reeves Medical Library, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA

Janice Flahiff, The Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, OH

Kathryn Fleming, Qmed, Inc., Eatontown, NJ

Bill Smith, Consumer Health Library, Methodist Health System of Dallas, Dallas, TX

Debbie Sunday, Medical Sciences Library, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX

Karen Heskett, Taubman Medical Library, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI

CAPHIS Website Committee

Michele A. Spatz, Chair, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Planetree Health Resource Center, The Dalles, OR.,

Dolores Zegar Judkins , Oregon Health Sciences University Library Portland, OR

Andrea Kenyon, Coll. of Physicians of Philadelphia, Library, Philadelphia, PA

Sharon A. Lezotte, Cottage Health System, Reeves Medical Library, Santa Barbara, CA

Catherine R. Hogan-Smith, AHIP University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Lister Hill Library,

Rama Vishwanatham , AHIP University of MS Medical Center, Rowland Medical Library, Jackson, MS

Consumer Connections and Web Site

We especially thank Roz Dudden, Top 100 Committee Chair, Kay Hogan, Webmaster, and Howard Fuller,  Nancy Dickenson, and Barbara Bibel as editors of Consumer Connections.


Consumer Health Librarians and Patient Safety: An Awareness Role?

Lorri Zipperer, Cybrarian, Zipperer Project Management, Evanston, IL,,

Lorri is a national leader in the patient safety movement and was recently invited by the editor to write this article for Consumer Connections.

Patient safety is all about partnership. By reaching out to those who are involved, solutions and protections against error can be more successful. Consumer health librarians are in an excellent position to contribute to the effort of creating safety awareness in patients and consumers. For example, consumer health librarians can serve as quality filters for health and medical information. They assist patients who seek to take an active role in their care and collaborate with clinicians about that patient care by finding needed information. They compile and host lists of links on the library’s web page to direct patients doing their own research to high quality resources. Consumer health librarians are sensitive to health literacy, vision and language barrier issues and provide appropriately selected materials in response to the queries of patients and family members or caregivers. They make available tools such as the MLA “Deciphering Medspeak” brochure to help simplify the process of a patient understanding the system of care they are in and how to communicate within it. Consumer health librarians are also very careful to help patients understand the need to speak with a qualified medical professional to interpret the information they do cull from the library—either on their own or with the help of a librarian. These roles and others are outlined in MLA’s 1996 policy statement on consumer health librarianship.

These basic modalities can be employed by consumer health librarians to help raise patient awareness about the role they play in protecting their safety.

How to build safety awareness in patients.

In addition to the activities listed above, some specific resources should be made available in the library for patients and family members. Patient safety brochures and other consumer publications should be visible to patients. Attaching these awareness tools to materials the library provides to patients and their families can be an effective strategy. Individual hospitals with safety programs may have developed their own resources that could be used in this way. If they have not, some recommended patient safety patient education materials are available at:

- Five Steps to Safer Health care

- Quick Tips When Talking to your Doctor

- AHRQ’s Quality of Health Care: "Q-Pack"

- You Can Help Improve Patient Safety

- Patient safety Week (March 7-14th, 2004)

- JCAHO’s “Speak Up” Campaign

How to partner in the hospital

Interacting with the staff at the hospital on issues related to patient safety will help to infuse knowledge of safety concerns, as well as establish the library as a clear avenue of support for a helpful and safe communication with patients. Some strategies for creating a higher profile for the consumer health information center within the hospital’s patient safety initiatives include:

- Introduce yourself to the patient safety officer at your hospital.

- Work with nursing, risk management and other clinical staff to discuss a distinct role for the consumer health librarian in their patient safety efforts.

- Advocate for a presence at patient safety fairs or other education events on safety. While there, illustrate for guests what the library can do to help with issues of patient compliance, health information, and medication safety.

- Prepare ‘elevator speeches’ for both clinicians and patients on the librarian’s role in working with patients to enhance their safety--both while they are an inpatient and a patient at home.

- Serve as a bridge between the patients, their families and hospital administration to bring to light their distinct patient information needs. Document what you learn.

- If your hospital has a patient advisory council, participate or speak to them of the librarian’s role and how you can help patients with informed decision making.

- Add ‘patient safety’ efforts to the consumer health libraries strategic plan. Share that change with hospital leadership so they know of your commitment to the issue.

- Connect with informed decision making initiatives at your hospital.

- Ask to install alcohol hand cleaner dispensers outside the library door for all to use to support the valued safety initiative of improved hand washing compliance.

- Learn about patient safety from a systems perspective and report any unsafe activities library staff observe to your patient safety officer or risk management office.

- Subscribe to materials specifically written for patients that focus on safety issues, such as the new Institute for Safe Medication Practices Safe Medicine and FDA Consumer

- Become recognized as an advocate for patient safety for your organization by showing interest in the issue and in contributing to the hospital’s work in this important area.

How to partner in the community

Of key importance in reaching patients is creating an awareness of patient safety BEFORE they are in the hospital. Most care is delivered in the United States in the ambulatory setting. Since most clinics, surgi-centers and pharmacies do not have associated libraries, the information needs of patients either go unaddressed or unaided by professional review and filtering. To that end, the public library may play a role. By using information to creating awareness in ambulatory patients and the general public, public librarians can teach people to be active participants in their own patient safety.

Consumer health information specialists, wherever they work, should:

- Seek to collaborate with local hospitals to run information programs at the public library on medical information and safety.

- Sponsor a computer terminal so that patients can get the information they need at clinics and other locations.

- Help patients locate medical information through an email assistance service dedicated to health care queries.

- Contact their local patient safety organization, self-help organizations to increase awareness about the role of good information in improving patient involvement in their own care. There is a list of state coalitions available at:

It comes down to marketing

When a patient goes through a system that has a professional librarian, they are not always directed to the library as a source of information. The clinicians don’t think of the library as a partner—as a resource that shares information to help patients be proactive advocates for their own safety. If libraries and their management can adopt a systems view of the consumer health librarian’s role in supporting safe care, a niche for them in the larger patient safety plan at the hospital may result. Only through advocacy will such opportunity materialize.

Gold Rush 2004

Gold Rush 2004, the joint meeting of the Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group, the Pacific Northwest Chapter, and the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona, was held January 28-30 in Sacramento. Chapter members offer reviews of two programs.

Listening as a Diagnostic Tool for Medical Librarians, A Talk By Pat Wagner, Pattern Research. Reviewed by Laura Brown, Associate Director, Jesse Medical Library, Loma Linda University Medical Center

Pat started her talk with a story of the German religious scholar Martin Buber (1878—1965). During WWI the story is told of a time when his students alerted him when one of their compatriots was about to come to him with an important question.  Buber was a brilliant man and when the student came in to talk, Buber would talk for hours and the young man (student) would listen attentively to the wise scholar.  A few months after speaking with Buber, the young man was killed in the war.  Some time later, several  students asked Buber what answer he had given to the young man’s question about whether it was moral to be in the war, and Buber responded that he didn’t remember him asking that question.  The students were baffled because that was the question that had prompted their friend to seek Buber’s counsel.  Buber was horrified because he realized that he was so busy being the brilliant Martin Buber he hadn’t stopped to listen to the question that was troubling the young student and it was suddenly too late.

So often those of us who are gifted speakers are only interested in getting our own ideas across, and showing off our own knowledge, that we gloss over listening, except to hear that slight pause that will allow us to make our next wise comment.

Tips for better listening:

  1. Create a room in your mind where the only other thing present in that room is the person you are listening to, and let them fill the room.

  2. Act and provide feedback – if the answer is no, tell the person why – don’t keep secrets you don’t need to keep.

  3. Find ways to say yes, or at least leave the door open (do not say “we can’t do it,” but, “we will have to investigate and see if it fits in with our strategic plan”)

  4. Remember the goal is not to prove you are the smartest person in the room, but to get things right. Others often have valid contributions to make– use every brain cell in the room.

  5. Tell me more. --- Tell me more. --- Tell me more.

  6. When it is your turn to speak during a meeting, survey others in the room and if there are people that have been quiet solicit their input instead of giving yours.

Exercise: try sitting in silence with another person and just listen – pretend the other person is a flame and if you speak you will blow it out.  In her regular classes Pat had people do this for 15 minutes – very hard for those of us who are use to monopolizing a conversation.  This exercise allows the talker full control over the conversation.  If you were allowed to ask questions, you would lead the conversation.

Books she suggested:

  1. “I and Thou,” by Martin Buber
  2. “Philosophy and the Real World: An Introduction to Karl Popper,” by Bryan Magee

Outreach: Extending the Frontier, and Panel Discussion. Reviewed by Gail Kouame, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region.

Linda Milgrom, Outreach Coordinator, Pacific Northwest Region, and Alan Carr, Health Information Services Coordinator, Pacific Southwest Region, started the session by describing funding opportunities that are available through the NN/LM as well as the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

The panelists consisted of representatives from both regions who had received funding to participate in outreach projects in their respective communities:

  • Marilyn Hall, Health Sciences Librarian at San Diego State University, discussed a project that involved providing training and access to information for nurses using PDAs.  She also included tips and tricks for applying for funding.  She strongly encouraged people to participate in outreach and to apply for funding through their regional NN/LM office. 

  • Ellen Richards, Library Manager of the Marshall Medical Community Health Library, described how NN/LM funding has allowed her to expand her outreach  in the community of Placerville, California.  Her project focused on partnering with a variety of community based organizations and provide them with MedlinePlus, PubMed and health information research training. Target populations included grandparents raising grandchildren, school nurses, public health and mental health educators, and parish nurses.

  • Marcy Horner from Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho provides outreach to a large geographic area in northern Idaho.  Her library partners with groups such as school nurses, home schoolers, senior citizens, and community health centers.  Their library also participates in a cooperative information network allowing patrons access to several different library systems.  NN/LM funding has allowed her to continue outreach efforts in this very rural area.

  • Margo Harris, Health Educator at the Center for Children with Special Needs at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, discussed her project for which she received funding.  She is training parents of children with special needs, and community public librarians, all of whom are learning resources together and about each others needs. She has three sites across the state of Washington where training is taking place, one of which is in Spanish.

All the panelists emphasized their positive experiences.  They encouraged participants to contact their regional offices to inquire about funding opportunities.  NN/LM regional offices can be reached by calling: (800) 338-7657.    Information about NN/LM and NLM funding can be found on the web at:

News & Events

MLA Annual Meeting in DC: CAPHIS Seizes Power in D.C.

Eris Weaver, Program Chair

The theme of this year's annual MLA meeting is "Seize the Power!" and the CAPHIS program committee has done just that, bringing you several exciting programs over the course of the conference. 

You can start the weekend off right by schmoozing with other CAPHIS members at the Swets cocktail reception, from 8:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. Saturday night. Special thanks to Chair, Naomi Broering, for making this event happen.  I'm sure you'll also want to attend our section business meeting from 4:00p.m. to 5:30p.m. Sunday afternoon, where you can catch up on section news and sharing your ideas for future section projects.

There are three section program sessions over the course of the meeting, and there is a CAPHIS-sponsored program during each one!

Power in the Trenches

Sunday, May 23, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

In this free-wheeling and interactive panel presentation, consumer health librarians will share stories from the trenches. How does serving consumers differ from serving physicians and students? What are the challenges and rewards of working in this setting? CAPHIS members Barbara Bibel, Jo-Ann Benedetti, Pat Hammond, and Joy Kennedy will share tips on  fundraising, marketing, and outreach; management of volunteers; programming; and other aspects of providing consumer health information services.

The Power of Collaboration

Monday, May 24, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Providing excellent service to consumers often requires collaboration with other libraries, agencies, community groups, and departments on activities ranging from needs assessment and program design to marketing and evaluation. Particularly in difficult financial times, working together can help utilize resources more effectively. What differentiates collaborative efforts that work from those that do not? This session will showcase successful and innovative programs that can work for you.  Come hear about innovative collaborative projects serving diverse populations such as mental health consumers and Native American college students; public/academic and public/private partnerships; and successful funding strategies.

Power to the Patient: New Definitions of Health Literacy

Tuesday, May 25, 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Health literacy is much more than patients' ability to read educational pamphlets and comply with prescribed medical treatment. Librarians and health care providers inform patients about their rights to privacy and access to medical records, teach patients to negotiate complex health care systems, assist patients with access to services and programs, provide information to assist patients in making treatment and health management decisions, and much more. Patients are taking charge of their health care information. How are librarians contributing to patient empowerment? Examples include using the natural language of sexual health information to empower urban adolescent health consumers; providing information in other languages; serving consumers with chronic diseases; and assisting consumers with health insurance questions.


R.S.V.P Required: First Ever Reception for CAPHIS

CAPHIS members, in conjunction with Swets Information Services, will be holding our first cocktail reception on Saturday, May 22, 2004 at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Georgetown Room, 8:00p.m. to 10:00p.m.

Please respond by March 19, 2004 with your name and address to receive your invitation. Send request to

The Second Canadian Conference on Literacy and Health

The Second Canadian Conference on Literacy and Health, Staying the Course: Literacy and Health in the First Decade, will bring together learners, practitioners and leading experts from Canada and the United States in a national forum to discuss what is being done to improve the health of Canadians with low literacy skills in the areas of practice, policy and research. The conference is taking place on October 17-19, 2004 in Ottawa, organized through the National Literacy and Health Program of the Canadian Public Health Association, funded by the National Literacy Secretariat

Proposed conference themes include: improving health services, raising literacy skills, focusing on language and culture, building healthy public policy and learning through research. A Call for Abstracts will be sent out in early February 2004.

Our objectives are to:
*Raise awareness of links between literacy and health;
*Identify how the Canadian context affects literacy and health;
*Exchange and document best practices and research in literacy and health in Canada;
*Identify policy issues involved in the linkage between literacy and health;
*Strengthen literacy and health networks and facilitate new partnerships in the area of practice, policy and research across different sectors (such as health, education, and employment).

To join our on-line Discussion Group and receive regular updates, or for more information on the conference, visit our web page at or send an e-mail to


Book Reviews

Carlson, Karen J., M.D., Stephanie A. Eisenstadt, M.D. & Terra Ziporyn, Ph.D. The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health. Harvard University Press, 2004. 768p. illus. index. ISBN 0-674-01282-3 $55.00; paper 0-674-01343-3 $24.95.

First published in 1996, The Harvard Guide to Women’s Health has been a valuable resource for female consumers seeking reliable health information. A new edition is most welcome because there have been major changes in the medical treatment of women. The authors, two physicians on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and a medical journalist, feel that well-informed women who collaborate with their physicians get the best medical care. This book will help women communicate with their health care providers to establish a partnership.

Over 300 alphabetical entries cover all aspects of women’s health. In addition to the expected articles on contraception, pregnancy, sexuality, and sexually transmitted diseases, there are entries for general medical topics such as colon and rectal cancer, asthma, cosmetic safety, and pesticides and organic food. There are also discussions of domestic violence, cosmetic surgery, obesity, and nutrition. This book contains the latest information about hormone replacement therapy, cardiac disease in women, autoimmune diseases, drugs, screening procedures, and diagnostic tests. It provides coverage of health concerns facing women throughout their lives, with a new entry about perimenopause as well a nutritional charts for women of different ages.

The New Harvard Guide to Women’s Health provides the most current and comprehensive general health information for women. It serves as an excellent companion for Our Bodies, Ourselves for the new Century (Touchstone, 1998). The latter provides the political and psychosocial foundation for women’s health advocacy. It is highly recommended for all health collections. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Caregivers. Anthony J. Senagore, executive advisor. Farmington Hills, Mich., Gale, 2004. 3v. illus. index. $350.00 ISBN 0-7876-7721-3.

Anyone facing surgery may feel overwhelmed. Understanding exactly what will happen lessens anxiety and speeds recovery because informed patients participate actively in their care. The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery will help patients and their families by showing them what happens during the diagnosis, surgical procedure, and aftercare. Anthony J. Senagore, M.D., F.A.C.S. of the Cleveland Clinic is the executive advisor for this encyclopedia. He assembled a team of health care professionals and medical writers to prepare the 465 entries in this set. They cover 265 surgical procedures as well as diagnostic tests, drugs, medical devices, and related material.

Entries on surgeries include a definition of the procedure, its purpose, demographics, description, diagnosis and preparation, aftercare, risks, normal results, morbidity and mortality rates, alternatives, and resources. Many of these articles also have color illustrations of the procedure. Other entries cover important subjects such as anesthesia, hospital admission procedures, obtaining a second opinion, and communicating with medical personnel. Shaded sidebars contain definitions of key terms, who performs the procedure, and questions to ask the doctor. All articles are signed and all have resource lists. Ample cross-references lead users to relevant material in other articles. A glossary, list of organizations, and an index complete the work.

Although there is some overlap with the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, the Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery provides more extensive coverage of surgical procedures. It is very up-to-date, offering information on new techniques such as virtual colonoscopy, and accessible to lay readers with high-school literacy levels. It is an excellent addition to public and consumer health libraries. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

Turkington, Carol, and Allen B. Sussman. The Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders. Updated 2d ed. New York, Facts on File, 2004. 294p. index. (Facts on File Library of Health and Living). $65.00 ISBN 0-8160-5615-3.

More than 28 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing. Millions more are exposed to dangerous levels of noise. Since hearing disorders are so common, there is a need for current information accessible to lay readers. The new edition of Facts on File’s Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders provides an excellent starting point. A medical writer and a psychologist who is a professor at Gallaudet University have produced a volume with more than 800 alphabetical entries and a series of appendices containing a wide range of helpful resources.

The alphabetical entries include anatomical and physiological terms, diseases, medical and surgical procedures, brief biographies of famous deaf people and experts in treating and educating the deaf, information and statistics about deafness and hearing disorders in other countries, and current research. This new edition offers the latest information about assistive devices, hearing aids, cochlear implants, the legal rights of deaf people, and the new guidelines for the treatment of ear infections. The entries range in length from a few sentences to two pages. A series of appendices includes current contact information for state agencies, non-profit organizations, summer camps, residential facilities, and sources of devices for people with hearing loss. They also include performing groups, periodicals, religious ministries, training centers for hearing ear dogs, and resources for learning communication skills. Lists of periodicals and books of interest on deafness and an extensive bibliography complete the work. Cross-references and an index make it easy to locate information.

The Encyclopedia of Deafness and Hearing Disorders is a good introductory and ready-reference source for public, consumer health, and school libraries. Those who want more extensive information will need to consult medical textbooks and/or MedlinePlus. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics, 3rd ed. Stephen G. Post, ed. 5v. Macmillan Reference, 2004. $595.00 (0-02-865774-8).

When the first edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics appeared in 1978, the discipline was new and relatively undefined. The second edition in 1995 kept pace with the rapid changes in the field. Continuing advances in biological and medical research have created the need for yet another edition.  Bioethics has become a recognized field, “the interdisciplinary examination of the moral and ethical dimensions of human conduct in the areas of life sciences and health care. The discipline encompasses the study of medial, legal, scientific, religious, philosophical, moral, and ethical issues of life sciences.” (Press release from Thomson/Gale). With such a broad, rapidly changing subject area to cover, editor Stephen G. Post  (Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University) has assembled an international group of over 500 scholars from 18 major disciplines – behavioral sciences, medicine, economics, ecology, philosophy, etc.—to 448 articles.


The third edition has 120 new articles, 200 extensively revised articles, and 100 with new bibliographies. The alphabetical entries address a wide range of topics that raise difficult and important questions. Abortion, genetic screening, female genital mutilation, the right to die, health issues of immigration, corporate responsibility, and nanotechnology are but a few. The contributors discuss the issues from many points of view. The abortion article includes sections covering medical perspectives, contemporary ethical and legal aspects, and Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic religious perspectives. There are also articles about bioethics in Buddhism, eugenics, health care policy, women as healthcare professionals, whistle blowing, and veterinary ethics. All of the articles are signed and all have bibliographies. Ample cross-references help readers find related useful material. A list of all the articles and topical outline appear in volume 1. A series of appendices offer codes, oaths, and directives related to bioethics, additional resources, key legal cases, and an annotated bibliography of literature and medicine. A detailed index helps users find material that may be scattered over numerous entries, such as information about surrogate motherhood.

This new edition of a classic work, which addresses timely issues such as same-sex marriages and direct advertising of prescription drugs, belongs in all public and academic libraries. It is an outstanding resource for students, professionals, and the interested public. Reviewed by Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.

Publication Information


Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and is published quarterly.

Content for each issue is cumulated online at, primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.


Please submit items for Consumer Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following quarter.

Submit by this newsletter For publication newsletter issue:
March April-June
June July-September
September October-December
December January-March

Please send submissions in electronic format to the editors:

Howard Fuller
E -mail:
Telephone: (650) 725-3308

Nancy Dickenson

E -mail:
Telephone: (650) 725-8100
FAX: (650) 725-1444

Vol. 20 No. 1 2004
ISSN 1535-7821

Home About CAPHISManaging a CHISContact UsFor Health Consumers

CAPHIS, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section, is a section of the Medical Library Association, an association of health information professionals with more than 5,000 individual and institution members. MLA fosters excellence in the professional achievement and leadership of health sciences library and information professionals to enhance the quality of health care, education, and research.

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