Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine: Reflections on Health and Beneficence by Kenneth A. Richman | 9780262182386 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine: Reflections on Health and Beneficence

Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine: Reflections on Health and Beneficence

by Kenneth A. Richman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262182386

ISBN-13: 9780262182386

Pub. Date: 07/01/2004

Publisher: MIT Press

Definitions of health and disease are of more than theoretical interest.

Understanding what it means to be healthy has implications for choices in medical treatment, for ethically sound informed consent, and for accurate assessment of policies or programs. This deeper understanding can help us create more effective public policy for health and medicine. It is

Overview

Definitions of health and disease are of more than theoretical interest.

Understanding what it means to be healthy has implications for choices in medical treatment, for ethically sound informed consent, and for accurate assessment of policies or programs. This deeper understanding can help us create more effective public policy for health and medicine. It is notable that such contentious legal initiatives as the Americans with Disability Act and the Patients' Bill of Rights fail to define adequately the medical terms on which their effectiveness depends. In Ethics and the Metaphysics of Medicine, Kenneth Richman develops an "embedded instrumentalist" theory of health and applies it to practical problems in health care and medicine, addressing topics that range from the philosophy of science to knee surgery."Embedded instrumentalist" theories hold that health is a match between one's goals and one's ability to reach those goals, and that the relevant goals may vary from individual to individual. This captures the normative implications of the term health while avoiding problematic relativism. Richman's embedded instrumentalism differs from other theories of health in drawing a distinction between the health of individuals as biological organisms and the health of individuals as moral agents. This distinction illuminates many difficulties in patient-provider communication and helps us understand conflicts between promoting health and promoting ethically permissible behavior. After exploring, expanding, and defending this theory in the first part of the book, Richman examines its ethical implications, discussing such concerns as the connection between medical beneficence and respect for autonomy, patient-provider communication, living wills, and clinical education.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262182386
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
07/01/2004
Series:
Basic Bioethics
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Forewordvii
Preface and Acknowledgmentsix
ITheories of Health1
1The Question of Normativity3
2A Proposal: Embedded Instrumentalism27
IIHealth and Ethics61
3Beneficence and Recommendations for Treatment63
4Autonomy and Parentalism87
5Conclusion to Part II113
IIIClinical Connections133
6Advance Directives135
7Talking to Patients, Training Physicians157
8Conclusion: What Every Doctor Should Know about Metaphysics181
Notes189
References205
Index217

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