A Philosophical Disease: Bioethics, Culture, and Identity

A Philosophical Disease: Bioethics, Culture, and Identity

by Carl Elliott, Carl Elliot
     
 

A groundbreaking new voice in bioethics, Carl Elliott draws on a rare combination of clinical and academic training to examine the nature of bioethics. Elliott argues for a more complicated understanding of the application of bioethics, often using the works of such writers as Paul Auster, Kurt Vonnegut, and William Styron to establish the moral complexities at

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Overview

A groundbreaking new voice in bioethics, Carl Elliott draws on a rare combination of clinical and academic training to examine the nature of bioethics. Elliott argues for a more complicated understanding of the application of bioethics, often using the works of such writers as Paul Auster, Kurt Vonnegut, and William Styron to establish the moral complexities at stake in bioethical decision making.

Elliott draws on his own experiences as a former medical student and as a bioethicist to explore such issues as organ donation, drug treatment for depression, excusing violence in psychotic patients and treatments for ambiguously gendered children. A Philosophical Disease moves beyond the current theoretical sensibility dominating bioethics to examine some of the most important moral questions of our day.

About the Author:

Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. He is the editor of two forthcoming books, The Last Physician (with John Lantos) and Slow Cures and Bad Philosophers.

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Editorial Reviews

Jon Turney
An absorbing look at the effort to help doctors answer all those questions modern technology poses...Draw[s] on the best kinds of storytelling to illuminate bioethical decision making. He uses [Walker] Percy and other writers such as Kurt Vonnegut to make the point that the big, old questions about the good life and how to live it lie behind the immediate issues of bioethics...A refreshing alternative to routine bioethics discussions.
&151;New Scientist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415919401
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/11/1998
Series:
Reflective Bioethics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
1,011,468
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

What People are saying about this

Stephen Toulmin
Keeping close to the language of daily experience in a way that will remind some of Oliver Sacks, Carl Elliott shows us the ways in which medicine is losing its way at the end of the twentieth century. A Philosophical Disease is a notable blend of honest doubt and humane imagination.
&151; (Stephen Toulmin, Henry R. Luce Professor, University of Southern California)
Clifford Geertz
An extraordinarily fine book--the best thing I have seen on the subject. It takes a broad, reflective view of the subject that is needed....It is its practice-centered, inside view of things which is so remarkable--that, and the clarity and force of exposition.
&151; (Clifford Geertz, Harold F. Linder Professor of Social Science, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey)
Peter D. Kramer
As we read Carl Elliott, we become aware of the contexts in which decisions arise: the state of medicine, the state of the nation, the state of the soul. He does not sound like other bioethicists; he sounds like Walker Percy, with a distinctive Southern voice, at once self-assured and ruminative. That voice transforms bioethics.
&151; (Peter D. Kramer, author of Listening to Prozac and Should You Leave?)
John D. Arras
...[A] wide-ranging, intelligent, engaging and irreverent set of reflections on some deeply puzzling moral and cultural phenomena.
&151; (John D. Arras, Porterfield Professor of Biomedical Ethics, University of Virginia)
Stanley Hauerwas
I had come to the conclusion that I could not stand to read another book in bioethics. They all go over the same ground in the same way. So thank God for Carl Elliott, who has written a book about the philosophy and ethics of medicine that is wise, illuminating, and funny. Elliott has learned Wittgenstein's lessons well and uses them to help us see the moral challenges modern medicine confronts. Even more, he helps us see how we must live if we are to survive not only the care medicine holds out, but our own longings as well.
&151; (Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Divinity School, Duke University)

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