The New Abnormal: A Review, by Greg Cook

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

By Greg Cook, Catholic Exchange, Nov. 17, 2022

Greg Cook Bio: Greg Cook is a writer living in New York’s North Country with his wife. He graduated from Plattsburgh State College and The Evergreen State College. He is the author of two self-published books of poetry, Against the Alchemists and A Verse Companion to Romano Guardini’s ‘Sacred Signs’.

How do we move ahead in a post-pandemic era? And what are the lessons to be learned from our challenging recent history? Catholic psychiatrist and bioethicist Aaron Kheriaty has thought a great deal about these questions and his answers are found in his just-released book The New Abnormal: The Rise of the Biomedical Security State (Regnery Publishing, 2022). The result is a brilliant mix of scientific observations, personal experiences, philosophical reflections, prudent policy prescriptions, and even a few speculative hints about dystopian possibilities of the near future.

Kheriaty, who lost his previous job as clinical psychiatrist and teacher at UC-Irvine in a dispute over mandated vaccines and natural immunity, begins the book in an unexpected time and place: 1947 Nuremberg. He does this to provide historical context for threats to freedom in our time. He briefly surveys the eugenics movement and its appropriation by the Nazi regime. Germany’s medical professionals were well-trained and as good as any in the world, but they lost their way. “Instead of seeing the sick as individuals in need of compassionate medical care, German doctors became willing agents of a sociopolitical program driven by a cold utilitarian ethos,” writes Kheriaty (xvii). After the war the revulsion at the perversion of medicine led to the Nuremberg Code, which emphasized informed consent as a cornerstone of ethical medical treatment….

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