Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics: The Points of Conflict by Robert M. Veatch | 9781589019478 | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics: The Points of Conflict

Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics: The Points of Conflict

by Robert M. Veatch
     
 

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Where should physicians get their ethics? Professional codes such as the Hippocratic Oath claim moral authority for those in a particular field, yet according to medical ethicist Robert Veatch, these codes have little or nothing to do with how members of a guild should understand morality or make ethical decisions. While the Hippocratic Oath continues to be cited by a

Overview

Where should physicians get their ethics? Professional codes such as the Hippocratic Oath claim moral authority for those in a particular field, yet according to medical ethicist Robert Veatch, these codes have little or nothing to do with how members of a guild should understand morality or make ethical decisions. While the Hippocratic Oath continues to be cited by a wide array of professional associations, scholars, and medical students, Veatch contends that the pledge is such an offensive code of ethics that it should be summarily excised from the profession. What, then, should serve as a basis for medical morality?

Building on his recent contribution to the prestigious Gifford Lectures, Veatch challenges the presumption that professional groups have the authority to declare codes of ethics for their members. To the contrary, he contends that role-specific duties must be derived from ethical norms having their foundations outside the profession, in religious and secular convictions. Further, these ethical norms must be comprehensible to lay people and patients. Veatch argues that there are some moral norms shared by most human beings that reflect a common morality, and ultimately it is these generally agreed-upon religious and secular ways of knowing-thus far best exemplified by the 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights-that should underpin the morality of all patient-professional relations in the field of medicine.

Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics is the magnum opus of one of the most distinguished medical ethicists of his generation.

Editorial Reviews

America Magazine

Veatch is instantly recognizable to all specialists in the field of bioethics as the leading and long-term opponent of the effort of the Hippocratic tradition across two millennia to locate medical ethics solely within the medical guild and to assert the guild's right and duty to define -- for both professionals and their patients.... It is the author's magnum opus on medical ethics set within a scholarly, historical framework.

Ethics and Medicine

A provocative and challenging starting point for discussion about the foundations of medical ethics.

Health Care and Philosophy Medicine

Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics is one of those books that provides us with a bigger picture of our everyday narrow topic of interest in the field of medical ethics. Fundamental questions lead us to the sources of the most important points of conflict in this field. Veatch does not leave us with these questions but suggests interesting solutions. The book is definitely worth reading.

Health Progress

In many ways, the core argument of the book is what may be his most significant contribution to medical ethics: what Veatch describes as the problem of the generalization of expertize.

Choice

This is an important book for clinicians and all teachers of professional ethics, not only medical ethics.

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran, MD, MA, MPH (Saint Louis University)
Description: In this work, which is based on his Gifford Lectures, the author offers a critical reflection on the sources of ethical norms for the practice of medicine.
Purpose: The purpose is to indicate the existence of fundamental points of conflict between professionally generated medical ethics, including Hippocratic ethics, on the one hand, and the religious and philosophical sources of medical morality, on the other hand. One prominent theme is to challenge the authority of medical professionals as the source of knowledge and articulation of the moral norms of medicine.
Audience: The author, a leading figure in the development of the field of bioethics, meticulously examines different positions and provides an original contribution to the field. The book will appeal both to medical practitioners in general and to those interested in philosophy of medicine in particular.
Features: Through a review of the various professional sources of medical morality, the author challenges the tradition of professional organizations developing binding codes of medical ethics. In contrast, the author considers religious and philosophical traditions as the two main legitimate sources of morality for practitioners of medicine. After a review of the eight contemporary philosophical and religious approaches to bioethics, including those developed by Engelhardt, Beauchamp and Childress, Brody, and himself, the author concludes that the normative theories are convergent in some major respects, and that these points of convergence ought to be normative for professional medical ethics.
Assessment: Though an interesting read, there are a few problems with the author's argument. A main problem in the author's method is the comparison of professional organizations with religion and philosophy as alternative sources of morality. The question of who should articulate the codes of medical ethics seems to be different from the question of sources for the codes. A related problem is the author's insufficient attention to the notion of a profession, which implies a set of shared standards of practice that have both technical and ethical sides. The technical side of the standards, which is the reason for the almost universal tradition of the professional articulation of the codes in different professions, seems to be missed by the author.
From the Publisher

"Veatch is instantly recognizable to all specialists in the field of bioethics as the leading and long-term opponent of the effort of the Hippocratic tradition across two millennia to locate medical ethics solely within the medical guild and to assert the guild's right and duty to define -- for both professionals and their patients [….] It is the author's magnum opus on medical ethics set within a scholarly, historical framework." -- America Magazine

"A provocative and challenging starting point for discussion about the foundations of medical ethics." -- Ethics and Medicine

" Hippocratic, Religious, and Secular Medical Ethics is one of those books that provides us with a bigger picture of our everyday narrow topic of interest in the field of medical ethics. Fundamental questions lead us to the sources of the most important points of conflict in this field. Veatch does not leave us with these questions but suggests interesting solutions. The book is definitely worth reading." -- Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

"In many ways, the core argument of the book is what may be his most significant contribution to medical ethics: what Veatch describes as the problem of the generalization of expertize." -- Health Progress

"This is an important book for clinicians and all teachers of professional ethics, not only medical ethics." -- Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589019478
Publisher:
Georgetown University Press
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
3 MB

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Meet the Author

Robert M. Veatch is a professor of medical ethics at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities and a former member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is the author or editor of over forty books, including The Basics of Bioethics, Transplantation Ethics, and Patient, Heal Thyself.

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