The ethical, legal and medical issues surrounding organ transplants. A report
Imagine you’re a doctor. There are two 30-year-old women in your intensive care unit – one with severe head injuries and no chance of survival, the other with a fatal heart defect whose only chance for life is to have a donor heart implanted. What would you do? This is just one of many questions that exceed our emotional and ethical competencies. Doctors, ethicists and lawyers have to find the answers to them, always in the interest of life. But are we allowed to do everything that we can do? Zoran Dobrić has talked to patients, doctors, living donors, relatives of the deceased, scientists and theologists. He has observed all the key processes of organ transplantation, including brain death diagnosis and organ removal.
Three lovable outsiders search for their place in the world. Agnesa, an 18-year-old Vienna city girl with migrant background who left school without qualifications, computer nerd Eduard, whose midlife crisis has turned him into a stalker in the wilds of the world wide web, and Felicitas, a feminist who’s still fighting the good fight at 69, even though she has followed her true love into the province. Their paths cross and they soon realise that life is better when shared, even if it means that some dearly held falsities have to fall by the wayside. Writer and performer Mieze Medusa has enjoyed years of success on the poetry slam circuit. Now she’s delivered a novel that combines humour and warmth with its very own language to capture the voices of today.
In his “Life Journey”, Alois Brandstetter recounts the remarkable story of how he made his way from 7th child of a miller and farmer to academic and author. Yet this pilgrimage into the past is delightfully tongue-in-cheek. Scenes and images from Brandstetter’s childhood and youth in rural Upper Austria alternate with humorous observations on modern life, as well as notes on impressions gained and encounters made as an avid reader. His travels on the trail of his namesake Saint Aloysius provide a fitting framework for the intimately and vividly narrated reminiscences.
The new musical director of Vienna State Opera is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. He is engaged at the best opera houses, the most important festivals and at famous concert halls all over the world – his career progression reads like one long success story. But the Swiss conductor also speaks of the difficulties of starting out, the obstacles that had to be overcome and the important encounters, disappointments and moments of joy along the way. Based on her numerous conversations with Philippe Jordan, journalist Haide Tenner documents the conductor’s personal relationship to music and his work, and his gripping life story to date.
Roland K., multiple murderer and rapist, is serving his sentence in Berlin’s Moabit prison. His connection to Mania, the prison psychologist, seems deeper than a few therapy sessions might suggest. When Mania’s childhood friend Tomek disappears in Vienna, she embarks on a desperate search for him with the help of Ruth, a hacker. Thus begins a dynamically narrated race against time. Will they find Tomek? Does Tomek even want to be found? And what does any of this have to do with Roland K.? With courage and verve, Kaśka Bryla intertwines the enduring questions of guilt and forgiveness, good and evil, with an unexpected love story to deliver a gripping road novel.
Jay Immer, son of Austrian immigrants, loving husband and a dutiful Chicago policeman, is 55 when the American dream catches up with him. He is elected to be the 40th president of the United States or, more accurately, his double. From that point on, he acts as a substitute for Ronald Reagan wherever Reagan can’t be – at shopping mall inaugurations and burger eating competitions, at parties and photo calls. But when Jay discovers his own voice and becomes involved in the environmental movement, cracks start to form in the idyll. Touching, highly topical and full of tragicomical humour, Clemens Berger’s narrative peers behind the facade of power and tells the unforgettable story of a man who stepped onto the stage of global politics to provide a swimming pool for his wife Lucy.
Human behaviour is driving our biosphere into the multiple crisis it is in today. But what is the evolutionary basis of human behaviour? And how much room for manoeuvre do we still have? The primary feature that distinguishes humans from other species is our rational potential, yet our everyday behaviour is shaped by irrational decisions. In view of the global survival problems we face, numerous and in some instances radical changes in behaviour are called for, both at an individual and a societal level. But most of all, we need a realistic perception of human nature. Never has it been more important to understand who we really are.
Is chemistry better than its reputation? When it comes to dealing with humankind's big challenges, chemistry is the key discipline. Award-winning chemist Nuno Maulide and physicist Tanja Traxler embark on a captivating journey into the fascinating world of syntheses, bonds and reactions. Entertaining and vivid, the authors describe how chemistry influences our everyday life. They discuss chemical approaches to solving global problems such as climate change, food security for Earth's growing population and waste production. For what is chemistry, after all? It is the science of ourselves, nature and the entire universe.
Is artificial intelligence replacing human practitioners?
The question concerns us all. What does the future of medicine look like and what does it mean for the patient? The use of artificial intelligence and big data for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes has the potential to shake the self-image of doctors to the core. Even today, machines are better at performing certain aspects of what for centuries has been described as the physician's art. Such tasks include diagnosing illnesses, selecting individual treatments and carrying out surgical interventions. Will doctors made of flesh and blood soon be superfluous? What can the patient of the future expect? Christian Maté, himself a doctor, takes a close look at the issues involved and develops compelling theses for a digital future.
Berlin before the fall of the wall, China before the massacre on Tiananmen Square – in a world full of irredeemable promises, a generation drifts along as it searches for a different life. Set in a wintry Berlin rich with dark taverns and opulent cafés, the narrator and his rag-tag circle of friends try to invent a new kind of freedom. At the heart of the clique is the dazzling Nina. She holds everyone in her spell, but is herself at the mercy of her inner voices and their dangerous insinuations. A one-way ticket to Beijing offers a way out. The narrator leaves everything behind and sets off to travel through a China in turmoil, but in this vast blue empire his attempt to forget remains futile.