Hippocrates' Maze: Medical Structures, Human Selves / Edition 176

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To contain the Minotaur, the ancient artificer Daedalus crafted a maze so intricate that it bewildered even its maker. Contemporary medicine—"Hippocrates' Maze—is every bit as bewildering, so much so that a new and distinct field, bioethics, has been created to help professional caregivers, patients, and families navigate their way through it. In Nelson's typically inviting and graceful style, the essays collected in Hippocrates' Maze explore the labyrinth of contemporary health care, and arrive at some unusual findings about death and decisionmaking, justice and families, cloning and kinship, and organ donation and intimacy. However, the book's most distinctive conclusions concern bioethics itself: the field is not best seen solely as a source of good advice to doctors, but rather as a way of better understanding our humanity.

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Editorial Reviews

Medical Humanities Review
This impressive and concise book has a three-fold agenda contributing to its attempt to find, within the moral maze of complex issues facing the Hippocratic professions, 'a deeper understanding of human conditions' than is commonly found in bioethical debate. Nelson succeeds, within his self-imposed limits, in seeing his agenda through on all three counts. . . . I can only encourage Nelson to continue using his sophisticated grasp of philosophy (more narrowly) and humanity (more broadly) to illuminate and deepen our appreciation of issues in bioethics, thereby, perhaps, drawing others into a disaffection with simplistic quasi-legal arguments and a growing attentiveness to the delights of nuanced philosophical thinking engaged with some of the most pressing concerns about the human condition as they surface in the context of Hippocratic praxis.
Carl Elliot
Hippocrates' Maze is beautifully written and philosophically stunning. There is no philosopher better than Nelson at showing us the richness and depth of the moral problems surrounding medicine.
Kathryn Montgomery
Hippocrates' Maze is not only a thoughtful examination of some of the hottest topics in medical ethics, but also a well-written argument for their contribution to philosophy as a whole. Nelson demonstrates that the field informs and refines mainstream considerations of selfhood and identity, biological connectedness, and even political philosophy.
Daniel Callahan
James Lindemann Nelson is one of our most original thinkers in bioethics. He takes on major subjects, subjects them to an analysis that is almost always different and provocative, and leads us down some very helpful and illuminating paths. Hippocrates' Maze is a wonderful example of his thinking, and will be a wonderful read not only for those in bioethics, but also for those who understand the importance of the issues.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James Lindemann Nelson is professor of philosophy and faculty associate at the Michigan State University's Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences. He is co-author of The Patient in the Family (1996) and Alzheimer's: Answers to Hard Questions for Families (1996).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Meaning of the Act: Relationship, Meaning and Identity in Prenatal Genetic Screening Chapter 3 Agency by Proxy Chapter 4 Just Expectations: Family Caregivers, Practical Identities and Social Justice in the Provision of Health Care Chapter 5 Death's Gender Chapter 6 'Everything Includes Itself in Power:' Power, Theory and the Foundations of Bioethics Chapter 7 A Duty to Donate? Selves, Societies and Organ Procurement Chapter 8 Cloning, Families, and the Reproduction of Persons

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