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Cutting to the Core: Exploring the Ethics of Contested Surgeries
     

Cutting to the Core: Exploring the Ethics of Contested Surgeries

by David Benatar
 

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Surgery inevitably inflicts some harm on the body. At the very least, it damages the tissue that is cut. These harms often are clearly outweighed by the overall benefits to the patient. However, where the benefits do not outweigh the harms or where they do not clearly do so, surgical interventions become morally contested. Cutting to the Core examines a number of such

Overview

Surgery inevitably inflicts some harm on the body. At the very least, it damages the tissue that is cut. These harms often are clearly outweighed by the overall benefits to the patient. However, where the benefits do not outweigh the harms or where they do not clearly do so, surgical interventions become morally contested. Cutting to the Core examines a number of such surgeries, including infant male circumcision and cutting the genitals of female children, the separation of conjoined twins, surgical sex assignment of intersex children and the surgical re-assignment of transsexuals, limb and face transplantation, cosmetic surgery, and placebo surgery. When, if ever, do the benefits of these surgeries outweigh their costs? May a surgeon perform dangerous procedures that are not clearly to the patient's benefit, even if the patient consents to them? May a surgeon perform any surgery on a minor patient if there are no clear benefits to that child? These and other related questions are the core themes of this collection of essays.

Editorial Reviews

Kathy Davis
Cutting to the Core shows us how we need to think about some of the most disturbing forms of surgical intervention-interventions which are fervently desired by individuals, but which may do more harm than good. This compelling and highly accessible collection of essays establishes once and for all the importance of ethics for understanding the implications of medical practice.
The New England Journal Of Medicine
Several contributions stand out as exceptionally novel and insightful.
CHOICE
Prospective surgeons, along with other health professionals and the public, should read this book.
Hastings Center Report
Although the book was written primarily with surgeons in mind and is ideally suited to help them reflect on their own practices, its accessibility and openness to the contradictory realities of embodiment invite us all to think more critically about what we expect surgery to do for us and what the surgical elimination of embodied differences would mean for our sense of who we are, our interactions with one another, and the quality of our social lives.
Metapsychology Online Reviews - Andrew Brei
Cutting to the Core is an interesting and enlightening book...I regard the book as a valuable addition to my bioethics library.
Glenn McGee
We can remake ourselves. Or can we? This is the definitive collection of what happens when our and our children's identity goes under the knife.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742576162
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
03/07/2006
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
246
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

David Benatar is an associate professor and head of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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