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From The CriticsReviewer: E. Ann Jeschke, BSLA, MTS (Saint Louis University)
Description: This second edition bioethics textbook is a valuable pedagogical tool for new students to the field. The book provides information on the main bioethics controversies. The initial two chapters also provide a helpful overview of the major forms of moral reasoning, moral theories, and critical thinking used in bioethics.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an in-depth understanding of the medical, social, scientific, and legal aspects of the most salient issues in bioethics. By including a new set of readings in this updated, second edition, the author seeks to place greater emphasis on concerns affecting a broader swath of healthcare professions.
Audience: It is intended for use as a standard introductory textbook in the bioethics classroom. Although it is an introduction to the concepts of bioethics, it also serves as an excellent resource for advanced students looking for a consolidated reference. However, the book is quite theoretical in nature, and health professionals who are less versed in abstract debates and more experienced in the daily aspects of healthcare delivery may find it difficult to read and apply the concepts.
Features: An overview of basic concepts in moral philosophy begins the book before it delves into specific controversies that emerge in the field of bioethics: paternalism and patient autonomy, truth-telling and confidentiality, informed consent, human research, abortion, reproductive technology, genetic choices, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, and dividing healthcare resources. Each chapter includes a general overview of a specific topic as well as previously published articles highlighting different sides of the debate. To assist teachers of bioethics, the book includes extensive ancillary information on each of the nine topics, including additional reading, a list of key terms, and a variety of illustrations that help elucidate concepts.
Assessment: This book is very helpful for beginning students in bioethics, as it covers an enormous amount of intellectual territory and it offers excellent supporting materials.