Critically Thinking About Medical Ethics / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$16.98
(Save 88%)
Est. Return Date: 09/29/2014
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$122.25
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$94.11
(Save 31%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $29.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 78%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $29.99   
  • New (3) from $112.15   
  • Used (20) from $29.99   

Overview

Robert E. Card takes an innovative approach to the study of medical ethics by introducing and applying critical thinking tools to classic and contemporary medical ethics readings. The organization of the text engages the readings in a dialogue to clarify how thinkers from diverse perspectives are responding to one another in a common discussion. The text's unified approach offers a critical thinking pedagogy, which helps students develop skills necessary for engaging in philosophical thinking, and helps students establish connections among reading selections.

FEATURES of Critically Thinking About Medical Ethics

  • Units organized around critical thinking tools—including Analogies, Slippery Slope Arguments, Legal Reasoning and Moral Reasoning, plus Analysis of Statistics and Studies
  • Introductory chapters on ethical theory and critical thinking—comprehensive discussions provide students with the necessary background to understand and critique a wide range of ethical issues in medicine
  • Extensive number of readings—over 60 readings, including classic and contemporary articles, as well as court cases and legal opinions.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a very interesting and innovative approach...[The book includes] a limited number of central topics which are treated in greater depth than in the texts currently on the market. That the material is presented in a way that facilitates dialogical and critical philosophical thinking about the issues is a real plus. I greatly prefer this approach ....[Card's introductions] are better than the introductions I am familiar with in the texts currently on the market." — Louis I. Katzner, Bowling Green State University

"I think this book has some real advantages over the competition. Its editorial material is lively, interesting and comprehensive enough, without being overwhelming; it is highly readable and accessible to the novice reader; and the editorial introductions are very well-done and helpful ....I like the style very much, and I think my students would as well." — Phebe Saunders Haugen, William Mitchell College of Law

"Card will certainly seem the best choice to many people who teach this course." — Anthony Preus, Binghamton University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131824843
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 12/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 854,085
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Read an Excerpt

The inspiration for this book stems from my dissatisfaction with other currently available texts. An acceptable textbook must reflect the breadth and depth of the debate it addresses, but should also prepare students to engage this debate. To do this requires providing resources to help students develop critical thinking skills. My fundamental belief is that students in a medical ethics/bioethics course should learn not only content regarding different thinkers' positions on the issues but also a philosophical or logical method that can be used to think more clearly about the ethical challenges posed by medicine. This book aims to make elements of this philosophical method explicit as it introduces students to the dialogue concerning central issues in medical ethics.

The dialogue in medical ethics is shaped in part by various ethical viewpoints. While thinkers accept different views, it is worth noting that bioethicists never defend their position by appealing to, say, Ethical Subjectivism. Philosophers understand why this is the case, and this is so natural that it probably goes unnoticed. Yet students deserve to know that this is not merely an accident. In order to explain and philosophically justify why thinkers in medical ethics explicitly rely on a relatively small number of ethical outlooks when presenting their views, this book includes a comprehensive introduction to ethical perspectives (Chapter 1).

Also, philosophical thinkers in medical ethics presume more than a passing familiarity with arguments when presenting their case. This book includes a separate introductory chapter (Chapter 2) on critical thinking, which will help students becomemore careful critics and make them more reflective about their own thinking. Chapter 1 contains Critical Thinking Interludes, which present and discuss case studies that are then related to important facets of the ethical perspectives just explained. The purpose of these Critical Thinking Interludes is to naturally awaken students' dormant analytical powers before a more formal introduction to critical thinking occurs in Chapter 2. The explanation and discussion of the case study are completely self-contained. These Critical Thinking Interludes serve as "helping hands" that model for students the type of questions relevant to a philosophical examination of an issue.

The critical thinking theme is not simply forgotten once the introductory chapters are completed. The sections containing the readings are divided into four units, and each unit consists of two chapters that are unified by a common "Critical Thinking Tool" that is explained and applied to several readings from that unit. These "Critical Thinking Tools" relate to the background critical thinking material explained in Chapter 2, yet are also independent since their explanation and application is contained within the Unit Introductions. For example, Unit II contains readings on the topics of surrogacy and abortion. This Unit Introduction contains a detailed explanation of analogies that then highlights and analyzes several examples of analogies from the readings in that Unit.

In addition, Unit Introductions contain an overview of the readings in that Unit, with particular emphasis on how the thinkers on each topic are responding to one another in a common dialogue. Serious effort has been expended to ensure that a balanced selection of readings representing different viewpoints are included. Further, the text contains enough readings on each topic to allow a philosophically respectable discussion of the issues.

This text contains more resources than can likely be used in a one semester medical ethics or bioethics course. I believe that is a favorable aspect of the text, since it allows flexibility in course design. In my experience, the selections contained in this text can be easily tailored to meet the needs of students of varying aptitudes and backgrounds.

The overarching goal of this text is to construct a cohesive philosophy textbook in medical ethics that offers the best in classic and contemporary readings (with a number of readings not contained in other texts). The critical thinking elements introduced and applied in the text are freestanding, and instructors who do not wish to incorporate critical thinking pedagogy in their courses are encouraged to use the text as well.

This collection offers an ample number of readings on each topic to allow for an informed discussion of the relevant issues that incorporates different viewpoints. The intention is to offer students structure to assist them in developing the skills necessary for engaging in philosophical thinking while allowing instructors the freedom to teach their courses as they see fit.

I would greatly appreciate comments and suggestions from those who use the book to learn how it might be improved. Communications may be directed to me either via email at rcard@oswego.edu or by postal mail at Department of Philosophy; State University of New York, Oswego; Oswego, NY 13126.

I would like to acknowledge those authors who have allowed me to reproduce their work in this textbook. Additionally, sincere thanks to the reviewers of this text: John J. Paris, S. J. Boston College, Anthony Preus, Binghamton University, and Louis I. Katzner, Bowling Green State University.

I believe there is reason to be proud of the sophisticated dialogue that has developed in medical ethics. It is my hope that the thinkers included in this text feel that their contributions have been accorded proper merit both in the presentation of their selections as well as in the discussion of their views. Both Ross Miller, Prentice Hall's Acquisitions Editor for philosophy, and Carla Worner, Editorial Assistant at Prentice Hall, have provided just the-right amount of support to foster this project. Finally, I thank my wife, Peggy, and our daughter, Noelle, for the special encouragement that only a loving family can provide. FEATURES OF THE BOOK

(1) This book does not assume that students have any background in philosophy or in medicine: it is completely self-contained. It provides a thorough introduction to the ethical theories that philosophical thinkers in medical ethics employ as a backdrop in their discussions. In addition, it offers a basic introduction to logical arguments and critical thinking. This reader satisfies all the requirements for a medical ethics course; there is no need for supplementary texts.

(2) The readings have been selected to create a true dialogue among the writers and the various positions and arguments on the relevant issues in medical ethics. A concise overview of the key arguments and their relations to one other is provided in an introduction to each chapter.

(3) There is a sufficient number of readings for each topic. Currently, popular readers in medical ethics provide only a small number of selections for each subject, and hence do not allow the depth of treatment that is necessary for a philosophically respectable examination of the ethical issues in medical practice. This text remedies this problem by offering a mixture of classic and contemporary readings, including readings not contained in other medical ethics textbooks.

(4) Each unit consists of two chapters, and a critical thinking tool that appears prominently in the readings in each unit is applied in the chapter introductions. This feature builds on the foundation established in Chapter 2 on logical reasoning, and establishes a link between critical thinking and the ethical issues discussed in each chapter. Sufficient background on a relevant critical thinking tool is provided, and these tools encourage critical analysis of the readings contained in each unit. This also establishes a pedagogical theme within each unit.

(5) This reader allows sufficient flexibility in course design. The readings may be used to teach a general elective course that uses (for example) the introductory Chapters 1 and 2, as well as the chapters on surrogacy, abortion, and euthanasia. It may also be used to teach an upper-level course in biomedical ethics by using (for instance) the introductory Chapters 1 and 2, and the chapters on genetics, HIV/AIDS, medical professionalism, and experimentation on human subjects. This text is also well suited for a course on contemporary moral issues focused on life and death issues.

(6) While the readings in each unit are conceptually related to one another, this text allows ample freedom when choosing the order in which readings will be discussed. The readings from one unit also connect naturally to readings from other units. For example, readings in Chapter 4 (abortion) can be naturally related to readings in Chapter 6 (reproductive risk and prenatal diagnosis). Readings in Chapter 5 (end of life issues) connect naturally to readings in Chapter 8 (medical professionalism; informed consent and competence) and Chapter 10 allocation of medical resources). Readings in Chapter 7 (HIV/AIDS) relate closely to readings in Chapter 9 (biomedical research; clinical research in the third world). ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK Chapter 1

This chapter provides a solid introduction to various moral perspectives. It explains and analyzes various ethical theories to assist students in understanding why certain perspectives have become dominant in writings on morality and ethics. It explains and critically analyzes ethical relativism, divine command ethics and natural law theory, psychological egoism, and ethical egoism. This is used to set the stage for a philosophical discussion of the perspectives of utilitarianism, Kantian and rights-based ethics, virtue/aretaic ethics, and the Rawlsian theory of justice. This chapter also contains a novel feature called critical thinking interludes. In these interludes, a case study is briefly presented, followed by a critical thinking question that relates the case study to the ethical perspective under discussion. A brief, critical discussion of the question follows. The purpose of these interludes is to spur the development of critical thinking skills in a natural way, before the main logical concepts are introduced in Chapter 2. Chapter 2

This chapter provides essential background on critical thinking. Descriptive statements are distinguished from normative statements, since this distinction is central to understanding the nature of ethical claims. The fundamentals of arguments, as well as a discussion of the difference between facts, opinions, and ideas, is included. The chapter also details types of logical arguments, the concepts of validity and soundness, and presents and explains selected logical fallacies. Numerous illustrations are offered to help students become accustomed to the logical method employed in the readings. Chapter 3

Surrogacy contracts and discussion of other reproductive technologies are the focus of this chapter. This chapter can be used to provide students with an excellent introduction to the type of issues present in medical ethics. Concerns about women's autonomy, the introduction of a profit motive into reproduction, the societal consequences of access to reproductive technologies, and the acceptability of paternalism are expressed and examined in the readings contained in this unit. Since most students do not initially express a strong commitment to one position on surrogacy arrangements, this topic helps students to begin to appreciate the role that ethical argument can play in forming one's view on a moral issue. Chapter 4

Abortion remains one of the most divisive moral issues in the United States. Yet this divisiveness is reason to make a serious effort to understand the rationale of different perspectives on this controversy. Legal background is provided, as well as readings that express different reasoned views (conservative, liberal, and moderate views) on the moral status of the fetus and women's rights and responsibilities regarding the fetus. Chapter 5

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide remains one of the most pervasive moral issues affecting the medical profession. This chapter provides crucial legal background on euthanasia, discusses the moral distinction between "passive" and "active" euthanasia, and examines the viability of a social policy allowing voluntary active euthanasia. Unlike most texts, it contains a reading on the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands, which aids in discussion of claims about the long-term effects of social policies allowing euthanasia. Also, unlike other readers, the chapter also discusses differences between physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Chapter 6

The implications of the Human Genome Project for our lives are potentially revolutionary. The moral issues associated with prenatal diagnosis and reproduction in conditions of genetic risk are explored in the readings, as are the moral questions surrounding genetic engineering and cloning. Special features not included in other medical ethics readers include discussions of whether insurance companies can justifiably use genetic testing to determine eligibility or rates for insurance coverage, as well as selections that present conflicting opinions on whether or not genes for human diseases should be patented. Chapter 7

This chapter discusses whether medical professionals have a duty to treat HIV-positive patients, questions surrounding professionals' duty to disclose information about patients, and ethical questions surrounding the limits of confidentiality and the right to know. The chapter closes with readings that examine the ethical quandaries stemming from drug treatment of pregnant HIV-positive women. Chapter 8

The health care provider/patient relationship itself generates a number of important ethical questions worthy of consideration. Questions broached in earlier chapters—such as whether medical professionals may honor patients' requests for euthanasia or whether they have a moral duty to treat HIV-positive patients—rely on a conception of the provider/patient relationship. The chapter opens with a discussion of whether forcible medical treatment is ever justified if it is refused based on religious reasons. Issues concerning informed consent, determinations of competence, and telling patients the truth are examined from different perspectives. Chapter 9

This chapter concerns the ethical issues involved with medical research performed on human subjects. The chapter opens with several important statements of research ethics, including The Nuremberg Code. A selection on the Tuskegee syphilis study makes clear the human cost incurred as a result of morally irresponsible research. The chapter contains selections that examine the central moral issues surrounding the usage of randomized clinical trials and determinations of when (and whether) the benefits to subjects participating in a study are sufficiently great to justify conducting and continuing the research. Chapter 10

Issues of justice are prevalent within medical ethics. This chapter focuses on the moral issues surrounding the just allocation of scarce resources, such as organs for transplant, as well as more general questions surrounding the justice of cost containment programs and initiatives that limit the employment of expensive medical treatment. The last part of the chapter broaches the issue of medical errors, a topic not covered by other current medical ethics anthologies. The remainder of the readings concerns the question of how to address the fallout from medical mistakes in a just manner.

Robert F Card
State University of New York, Oswego

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS AND CRITICAL THINKING.

1. Introduction to Moral Theory.

2. Critical Thinking Tools.

II. REPRODUCTIVE ISSUES.

3. Surrogacy Contracts.

Opinion in the Matter of Baby M., Robert N. Wilentz. The Strange Case of Baby M., Katha Pollitt. When is a Mother not a Mother?, Katha Pollitt. Paternalism, Gerald Dworkin. Licensing Parents, Hugh LaFollette. Surrogate Motherhood as Prenatal Adoption, B. Steinbock. Surrogate Mothering: Exploitation or Empowerment?, Laura M. Purdy. The Case Against Surrogate Parenting, Herbert T. Krimmel.

4. Abortion.

Roe v. Wade, United States Supreme Court Decision. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, Governor of Pennsylvania, United States Supreme Court Opinion. An Almost Absolute Value in History, J. Noonan. Why Abortion is Immoral, Don Marquis. On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion, Mary Anne Warren. Infanticide and the Liberal View on Abortion, Robert Card. Abortion: A Feminist Perspective, Susan Sherwin. A Defense of Abortion, JJ. Thomson. Abortion and the Concept of Person, Jane English. Abortion: A Moderate View, L.W. Sumner. For and Against: Should Abortions Late in Pregnancy Be Banned?, Sprang and Neerhof/Grimes.

III. LIFE, DEATH, AND MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY.

5. Ethical Issues at the End of Life.

Cruzan V. Director, Missouri Department of Health, Majority Opinion. Active and Passive Euthanasia, James Rachels. Active and Passive Euthanasia: An Impertinent Distinction?, Thomas D. Sullivan. More Impertinent Distinctions and a Defense of Active Euthanasia, James Rachels. Voluntary Active Euthanasia, D. Brock. When Self-Determination Runs Amok, D. Callahan. Euthanasia: Normal Medical Practice?, Welie and Have. Must Patients Always be Given Food and Water?, J. Childress and J. Lynn. Assisted Suicide is Not Voluntary Euthanasia, T. Howell and D. Watts. For and Against: Should Physicians Be Allowed to Assist in Patient Suicide?, Quill/Hendin. For and Against: Are Some Advance Directives Too Risky for Patients?, Ryan/Luttrell and Sommerville. Why I don't Have a Living Will, J. Lynn. Medical Futility: A Conceptual and Ethical Analysis, M. Wicclair. For and Against: Should Doctors Be Able to Refuse Demands for “Futile” Treatment?, Miles/Ackerman.

6. Genetics and Morality.

Genetics and Reproductive Risk: Can Having Children Be Immoral?, L. Purdy. Genetic Links, Family Ties, and Social Bonds: Rights and Responsibilities in the Face of Genetic Knowledge, R. Rhodes. Implications of Prenatal Diagnosis for the Right to Life, Leon R. Kass. Fatal Knowledge: Prenatal Diagnosis and Sex Selection, John C. Fletcher and Dorothy Wertz. Genetics and Human Malleability, French W. Anderson. Germ-Line Gene Therapy and the Medical Imperative, L. Davis and R. Munson. For and Against: Should Insurance Companies Have Access to Information from Genetic Testing?, American Council/Murray. Genetic Testing, Health Insurance, and Rawlsian Justice, R. Card. Cloning Human Beings: An Assessment of the Ethical Issues Pro and Con, D. Brock. For and Against: Should Genes for Human Diseases Be Patented?, McGee/Merz and Cho.

IV. HIV, AIDS, AND THE PROVIDER/PATIENT RELATIONSHIP.

7. Ethics and HIV/AIDS.

How Society Should Respond to AIDS, R. Mohr. Harming, Wronging, and AIDS, B. Steinbock. Altruism, Self-Interest, and Medical Ethics, E. Pellegrino. AIDS and the Duty to Treat, John D. Arras. Decision in the Tarasoff Case, California Supreme Court. AIDS, Confidentiality, and the Right to Know, Morton E. Winston. Please Don't Tell!: A Case About HIV and Confidentiality, With Commentaries by L. Fleck and M. Angell. HIV Infections, Pregnant Women and Newborns: A Policy Proposal for Information and Testing, Working Group on HIV Testing of Pregnant Women and Newborns. Ethical Challenges Posed by Zidovudine Treatment to Reduce Vertical Transmission of HIV, R. Bayer.

8. The Relationship Between Medical Professionals and Patients.

Consent, Coercion, and Conflicts of Rights, R. Macklin. For and Against: Do Parents Harm Their Children When They Refuse Medical Treatment on Religious Grounds?, AAP/Sheldon. Opinion in Canterbury v. Spence, S.W.R. Robinson. Transparency: Informed Consent in Primary Care, Howard Brody, Standards of Competence, D. Brock and A. Buchanan. Who Decides, and What?, Tom Tomlinson. On Telling Patients the Truth, Roger Higgs. Hope, Howard Brody.

V. MEDICAL RESEARCH, ALLOCATION, AND JUSTICE.

9. Research on Human and Non-Human Subjects.

The Nuremberg Code. Declaration Helsinki, World Medical Association. Belmont Report. When Evil Intrudes (Legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study), A. Caplan. Judgment on Willowbrook, P. Ramsey. Of Mice But Not Men: Problems of the Randomized Clinical Trial, D. Hellman and S. Hellman. A Response to a Purported Ethical Difficulty with Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Cancer Patients, B. Freedman. The Equipoise and the Ethics of Clinical Research, B. Freedman. The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World, M. Angell. Placebos and HIV: Lessons Learned, C. Levine. For and Against: Is Sham Surgery Ethically Acceptable in Clinical Research?, R. Macklin/T. Freedman. The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research, C. Cohen. The Responsible Use of Animals in Biomedical Research, E.C. Hettinger.

10. Allocation of Medical Resources and Justice Issues in Health Care Systems.

The Allocation of Exotic Medical Lifesaving Therapy,N. Rescher. The Prostitute, the Playboy, and the Poet: Rationing Schemes for Organ Transplantation, G. Annas. Alcoholics and Liver Transplantation,M. Benjamin, C. Cohen, et.al. Just Caring: Managed Care and Protease Inhibitors,L. Fleck. Aging and the Ends of Medicine,D. Callahan. Spare the Old, Save the Young,A. Etzioni. Why Saying No to Patients in the United States is So Hard, N. Daniels. The Doctor as Double Agent,M. Angell. To Err is Human, Institute of Medicine,M. Donaldson, J. Corrigan and L. Kohn. Institutional Responses to Medical Mistakes: Ethical and Legal Perspectives,A. Thurman. Honestly, Do We Need a Policy of Truth?, M. DeVita. Guidelines for Disclosure and Discussion of Conditions and Events with Patients, Families, and Guardians, UPMC. Risk Management: Extreme Honesty May Be the Best Policy, G. Hamm and S. Kraman.

Read More Show Less

Preface

The inspiration for this book stems from my dissatisfaction with other currently available texts. An acceptable textbook must reflect the breadth and depth of the debate it addresses, but should also prepare students to engage this debate. To do this requires providing resources to help students develop critical thinking skills. My fundamental belief is that students in a medical ethics/bioethics course should learn not only content regarding different thinkers' positions on the issues but also a philosophical or logical method that can be used to think more clearly about the ethical challenges posed by medicine. This book aims to make elements of this philosophical method explicit as it introduces students to the dialogue concerning central issues in medical ethics.

The dialogue in medical ethics is shaped in part by various ethical viewpoints. While thinkers accept different views, it is worth noting that bioethicists never defend their position by appealing to, say, Ethical Subjectivism. Philosophers understand why this is the case, and this is so natural that it probably goes unnoticed. Yet students deserve to know that this is not merely an accident. In order to explain and philosophically justify why thinkers in medical ethics explicitly rely on a relatively small number of ethical outlooks when presenting their views, this book includes a comprehensive introduction to ethical perspectives (Chapter 1).

Also, philosophical thinkers in medical ethics presume more than a passing familiarity with arguments when presenting their case. This book includes a separate introductory chapter (Chapter 2) on critical thinking, which will help students become more careful critics and make them more reflective about their own thinking. Chapter 1 contains Critical Thinking Interludes, which present and discuss case studies that are then related to important facets of the ethical perspectives just explained. The purpose of these Critical Thinking Interludes is to naturally awaken students' dormant analytical powers before a more formal introduction to critical thinking occurs in Chapter 2. The explanation and discussion of the case study are completely self-contained. These Critical Thinking Interludes serve as "helping hands" that model for students the type of questions relevant to a philosophical examination of an issue.

The critical thinking theme is not simply forgotten once the introductory chapters are completed. The sections containing the readings are divided into four units, and each unit consists of two chapters that are unified by a common "Critical Thinking Tool" that is explained and applied to several readings from that unit. These "Critical Thinking Tools" relate to the background critical thinking material explained in Chapter 2, yet are also independent since their explanation and application is contained within the Unit Introductions. For example, Unit II contains readings on the topics of surrogacy and abortion. This Unit Introduction contains a detailed explanation of analogies that then highlights and analyzes several examples of analogies from the readings in that Unit.

In addition, Unit Introductions contain an overview of the readings in that Unit, with particular emphasis on how the thinkers on each topic are responding to one another in a common dialogue. Serious effort has been expended to ensure that a balanced selection of readings representing different viewpoints are included. Further, the text contains enough readings on each topic to allow a philosophically respectable discussion of the issues.

This text contains more resources than can likely be used in a one semester medical ethics or bioethics course. I believe that is a favorable aspect of the text, since it allows flexibility in course design. In my experience, the selections contained in this text can be easily tailored to meet the needs of students of varying aptitudes and backgrounds.

The overarching goal of this text is to construct a cohesive philosophy textbook in medical ethics that offers the best in classic and contemporary readings (with a number of readings not contained in other texts). The critical thinking elements introduced and applied in the text are freestanding, and instructors who do not wish to incorporate critical thinking pedagogy in their courses are encouraged to use the text as well.

This collection offers an ample number of readings on each topic to allow for an informed discussion of the relevant issues that incorporates different viewpoints. The intention is to offer students structure to assist them in developing the skills necessary for engaging in philosophical thinking while allowing instructors the freedom to teach their courses as they see fit.

I would greatly appreciate comments and suggestions from those who use the book to learn how it might be improved. Communications may be directed to me either via email at rcard@oswego.edu or by postal mail at Department of Philosophy; State University of New York, Oswego; Oswego, NY 13126.

I would like to acknowledge those authors who have allowed me to reproduce their work in this textbook. Additionally, sincere thanks to the reviewers of this text: John J. Paris, S. J. Boston College, Anthony Preus, Binghamton University, and Louis I. Katzner, Bowling Green State University.

I believe there is reason to be proud of the sophisticated dialogue that has developed in medical ethics. It is my hope that the thinkers included in this text feel that their contributions have been accorded proper merit both in the presentation of their selections as well as in the discussion of their views. Both Ross Miller, Prentice Hall's Acquisitions Editor for philosophy, and Carla Worner, Editorial Assistant at Prentice Hall, have provided just the-right amount of support to foster this project. Finally, I thank my wife, Peggy, and our daughter, Noelle, for the special encouragement that only a loving family can provide.

FEATURES OF THE BOOK

(1) This book does not assume that students have any background in philosophy or in medicine: it is completely self-contained. It provides a thorough introduction to the ethical theories that philosophical thinkers in medical ethics employ as a backdrop in their discussions. In addition, it offers a basic introduction to logical arguments and critical thinking. This reader satisfies all the requirements for a medical ethics course; there is no need for supplementary texts.

(2) The readings have been selected to create a true dialogue among the writers and the various positions and arguments on the relevant issues in medical ethics. A concise overview of the key arguments and their relations to one other is provided in an introduction to each chapter.

(3) There is a sufficient number of readings for each topic. Currently, popular readers in medical ethics provide only a small number of selections for each subject, and hence do not allow the depth of treatment that is necessary for a philosophically respectable examination of the ethical issues in medical practice. This text remedies this problem by offering a mixture of classic and contemporary readings, including readings not contained in other medical ethics textbooks.

(4) Each unit consists of two chapters, and a critical thinking tool that appears prominently in the readings in each unit is applied in the chapter introductions. This feature builds on the foundation established in Chapter 2 on logical reasoning, and establishes a link between critical thinking and the ethical issues discussed in each chapter. Sufficient background on a relevant critical thinking tool is provided, and these tools encourage critical analysis of the readings contained in each unit. This also establishes a pedagogical theme within each unit.

(5) This reader allows sufficient flexibility in course design. The readings may be used to teach a general elective course that uses (for example) the introductory Chapters 1 and 2, as well as the chapters on surrogacy, abortion, and euthanasia. It may also be used to teach an upper-level course in biomedical ethics by using (for instance) the introductory Chapters 1 and 2, and the chapters on genetics, HIV/AIDS, medical professionalism, and experimentation on human subjects. This text is also well suited for a course on contemporary moral issues focused on life and death issues.

(6) While the readings in each unit are conceptually related to one another, this text allows ample freedom when choosing the order in which readings will be discussed. The readings from one unit also connect naturally to readings from other units. For example, readings in Chapter 4 (abortion) can be naturally related to readings in Chapter 6 (reproductive risk and prenatal diagnosis). Readings in Chapter 5 (end of life issues) connect naturally to readings in Chapter 8 (medical professionalism; informed consent and competence) and Chapter 10 allocation of medical resources). Readings in Chapter 7 (HIV/AIDS) relate closely to readings in Chapter 9 (biomedical research; clinical research in the third world).

ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK

Chapter 1

This chapter provides a solid introduction to various moral perspectives. It explains and analyzes various ethical theories to assist students in understanding why certain perspectives have become dominant in writings on morality and ethics. It explains and critically analyzes ethical relativism, divine command ethics and natural law theory, psychological egoism, and ethical egoism. This is used to set the stage for a philosophical discussion of the perspectives of utilitarianism, Kantian and rights-based ethics, virtue/aretaic ethics, and the Rawlsian theory of justice. This chapter also contains a novel feature called critical thinking interludes. In these interludes, a case study is briefly presented, followed by a critical thinking question that relates the case study to the ethical perspective under discussion. A brief, critical discussion of the question follows. The purpose of these interludes is to spur the development of critical thinking skills in a natural way, before the main logical concepts are introduced in Chapter 2.

Chapter 2

This chapter provides essential background on critical thinking. Descriptive statements are distinguished from normative statements, since this distinction is central to understanding the nature of ethical claims. The fundamentals of arguments, as well as a discussion of the difference between facts, opinions, and ideas, is included. The chapter also details types of logical arguments, the concepts of validity and soundness, and presents and explains selected logical fallacies. Numerous illustrations are offered to help students become accustomed to the logical method employed in the readings.

Chapter 3

Surrogacy contracts and discussion of other reproductive technologies are the focus of this chapter. This chapter can be used to provide students with an excellent introduction to the type of issues present in medical ethics. Concerns about women's autonomy, the introduction of a profit motive into reproduction, the societal consequences of access to reproductive technologies, and the acceptability of paternalism are expressed and examined in the readings contained in this unit. Since most students do not initially express a strong commitment to one position on surrogacy arrangements, this topic helps students to begin to appreciate the role that ethical argument can play in forming one's view on a moral issue.

Chapter 4

Abortion remains one of the most divisive moral issues in the United States. Yet this divisiveness is reason to make a serious effort to understand the rationale of different perspectives on this controversy. Legal background is provided, as well as readings that express different reasoned views (conservative, liberal, and moderate views) on the moral status of the fetus and women's rights and responsibilities regarding the fetus.

Chapter 5

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide remains one of the most pervasive moral issues affecting the medical profession. This chapter provides crucial legal background on euthanasia, discusses the moral distinction between "passive" and "active" euthanasia, and examines the viability of a social policy allowing voluntary active euthanasia. Unlike most texts, it contains a reading on the practice of euthanasia in the Netherlands, which aids in discussion of claims about the long-term effects of social policies allowing euthanasia. Also, unlike other readers, the chapter also discusses differences between physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Chapter 6

The implications of the Human Genome Project for our lives are potentially revolutionary. The moral issues associated with prenatal diagnosis and reproduction in conditions of genetic risk are explored in the readings, as are the moral questions surrounding genetic engineering and cloning. Special features not included in other medical ethics readers include discussions of whether insurance companies can justifiably use genetic testing to determine eligibility or rates for insurance coverage, as well as selections that present conflicting opinions on whether or not genes for human diseases should be patented.

Chapter 7

This chapter discusses whether medical professionals have a duty to treat HIV-positive patients, questions surrounding professionals' duty to disclose information about patients, and ethical questions surrounding the limits of confidentiality and the right to know. The chapter closes with readings that examine the ethical quandaries stemming from drug treatment of pregnant HIV-positive women.

Chapter 8

The health care provider/patient relationship itself generates a number of important ethical questions worthy of consideration. Questions broached in earlier chapters—such as whether medical professionals may honor patients' requests for euthanasia or whether they have a moral duty to treat HIV-positive patients—rely on a conception of the provider/patient relationship. The chapter opens with a discussion of whether forcible medical treatment is ever justified if it is refused based on religious reasons. Issues concerning informed consent, determinations of competence, and telling patients the truth are examined from different perspectives.

Chapter 9

This chapter concerns the ethical issues involved with medical research performed on human subjects. The chapter opens with several important statements of research ethics, including The Nuremberg Code. A selection on the Tuskegee syphilis study makes clear the human cost incurred as a result of morally irresponsible research. The chapter contains selections that examine the central moral issues surrounding the usage of randomized clinical trials and determinations of when (and whether) the benefits to subjects participating in a study are sufficiently great to justify conducting and continuing the research.

Chapter 10

Issues of justice are prevalent within medical ethics. This chapter focuses on the moral issues surrounding the just allocation of scarce resources, such as organs for transplant, as well as more general questions surrounding the justice of cost containment programs and initiatives that limit the employment of expensive medical treatment. The last part of the chapter broaches the issue of medical errors, a topic not covered by other current medical ethics anthologies. The remainder of the readings concerns the question of how to address the fallout from medical mistakes in a just manner.

Robert F Card
State University of New York, Oswego

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Great book

    Great book with a lot of interesting topics in the medical world and their ethical implications.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)