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Bioethics: Introduction to the History, Methods, and Practice

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Glenn C. Graber, PhD (University of Tennessee at Knoxville)
Description: This collection of essays is divided into three parts, each with an introduction by one of the editors. The history part (introduced by Jonsen) contains 13 essays on such themes as organ transplantation, experimentation, terminating treatment, and bioethics as a discipline; the methods part (introduced by Jecker) has 15 essays; the practice part (introduced by Pearlman) has 16 selections, including bits from state and federal statutes and professional association statements as well as scholarly discussions of ethics committees and ethics consultation.
Purpose: As the subtitle suggests, the book's purpose is to introduce the history of bioethics and its methodologies and techniques for carrying ethical analyses into the various settings in which healthcare is practiced.
Audience: The editors claim the book is intended for students at four levels: college undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and healthcare professionals in continuing education.
Features: Most of the essays in the first part are indeed classics. However, not only are some key classics omitted, but whole topics are excluded. For example, I would contend that conceptions of the practitioner-patient relationship is a foundational topic, yet neither Veatch's classic essay sketching models of the relationship nor any other systematic treatment is included. Attention to the cultural context of bioethics in the method and the practice parts offer an important addition to bioethics. The essays, as well as the introductions, are mostly clear, free of unexplained jargon, and comprehensible even to those without much background in philosophy or bioethics.
Assessment: I don't know another book that purports to cover all three topics that this book takes on, although most introductory texts have always included a summary of underlying principles, and most now include some attention to the practice dimension of bioethics in legislation, professional position statements, and the workings of ethics committees and ethics consultants. One would expect the material in the practice section to be up-to-date, but there is as much or more material here from the 1970s than from the 1990s, and most comes from the mid- to late 1980s. I fear this book tries to cover too much ground to do any of it very satisfactorily.
Glenn C. Graber
This collection of essays is divided into three parts, each with an introduction by one of the editors. The history part (introduced by Jonsen) contains 13 essays on such themes as organ transplantation, experimentation, terminating treatment, and bioethics as a discipline; the methods part (introduced by Jecker) has 15 essays; the practice part (introduced by Pearlman) has 16 selections, including bits from state and federal statutes and professional association statements as well as scholarly discussions of ethics committees and ethics consultation. As the subtitle suggests, the book's purpose is to introduce the history of bioethics and its methodologies and techniques for carrying ethical analyses into the various settings in which healthcare is practiced. The editors claim the book is intended for students at four levels: college undergraduates, medical students, graduate students, and healthcare professionals in continuing education. Most of the essays in the first part are indeed classics. However, not only are some key classics omitted, but whole topics are excluded. For example, I would contend that conceptions of the practitioner-patient relationship is a foundational topic, yet neither Veatch's classic essay sketching models of the relationship nor any other systematic treatment is included. Attention to the cultural context of bioethics in the method and the practice parts offer an important addition to bioethics. The essays, as well as the introductions, are mostly clear, free of unexplained jargon, and comprehensible even to those without much background in philosophy or bioethics. I don't know another book that purports to cover all three topics that this book takes on,although most introductory texts have always included a summary of underlying principles, and most now include some attention to the practice dimension of bioethics in legislation, professional position statements, and the workings of ethics committees and ethics consultants. One would expect the material in the practice section to be up-to-date, but there is as much or more material here from the 1970s than from the 1990s, and most comes from the mid- to late 1980s. I fear this book tries to cover too much ground to do any of it very satisfactorily.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763702281
  • Publisher: Jones & Barlett Learning
  • Publication date: 1/30/1997
  • Series: Health Science Series
  • Edition description: 1E
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. I The History of Bioethics
Introduction to the History of Bioethics 3
The New Biology: What Price Relieving Man's Estate? 12
The Heart Transplant: Ethical Dimensions 15
Who Shall Live When Not All Can Live? 19
Ethics and Clinical Research 29
Philosophical Reflections on Experimenting with Human Subjects 42
Realities of Patient Consent to Medical Research 51
Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in the Special-Care Nursery 60
To Save or Let Die: The Dilemma of Modern Medicine 70
Active and Passive Euthanasia 77
Prolonged Dying: Not Medically Indicated 83
Bioethics as a Discipline 87
Medical Ethics: Some Uses, Abuses, and Limitations 93
How Medicine Saved the Life of Ethics 101
Pt. II The Methods of Bioethics
Introduction to the Methods of Bioethics 113
Equality and Its Implications 126
Kantian Ethics 131
From Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Selection) 141
A Critique of Principlism 147
Feminism and Moral Theory 152
Casuistry and Clinical Ethics 158
From Doctors' Stories (Selection) 162
Getting Down to Cases: The Revival of Casuistry in Bioethics 175
Feminist and Medical Ethics: Two Different Approaches to Contextual Ethics 184
Attitudes toward Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia among Physicians in Washington State 190
Survival after Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in the Hospital 202
Limitation of Medical Care: An Ethnographic Analysis 218
Should Medical Encounters Be Studied Using Ethnographic Techniques? 232
Medical Morality Is Not Bioethics: Medical Ethics in China and the United States 237
Yes, There Are African-American Perspectives on Bioethics 252
Pt. III The Practice of Bioethics
Introduction to the Practice of Bioethics 259
Hospital Ethics Committees: Is There a Role? 273
The Inner Workings of an Ethics Committee: Latest Battle over Jehovah's Witnesses 279
Ethics Consultation: Skills, Roles, and Training 283
Facilitating Medical Ethics Case Review: What Ethics Committees Can Learn from Mediation and Facilitation Techniques 293
Behind Closed Doors: Promises and Pitfalls of Ethics Committees 300
Part 1340 - Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Treatment (Selection) 309
The Patient Self-Determination Act and the Future of Advance Directives 324
Deciding to Forego Life-Sustaining Treatment (Selection) 331
Natural Death Act 345
When Others Must Choose (Selection) 347
Ethical Issues Involved in the Growing AIDS Crisis 357
Position of the American Academy of Neurology on Certain Aspects of the Care and Management of the Persistent Vegetative State Patient 361
Initiating and Withdrawing Life Support: Principles and Practice in Adult Medicine 365
Ethics Committees and Decisions to Limit Care: The Experience at the Massachusetts General Hospital 377
Western Bioethics on the Navajo Reservation: Benefit or Harm? 383
Gender, Race, and Class in the Delivery of Health Care 392
Index 403
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