Matters of Life and Death: Making Moral Theory Work in Medical Ethics and the Law

Overview

"Written by a well-known and respected author, this book reflects careful scholarship by someone who has extensive experience in the field and creative insights. Its significant new perspective is Orentlicher's claim that there is no clear answer to many of the most important questions in bioethics because of indeterminacy in bioethical theory. The result is a nuanced pragmatic analysis that shows the flaw of many attempts—both liberal and conservative—to translate theory to policy."—Robert Veatch, The Kennedy ...

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Overview

"Written by a well-known and respected author, this book reflects careful scholarship by someone who has extensive experience in the field and creative insights. Its significant new perspective is Orentlicher's claim that there is no clear answer to many of the most important questions in bioethics because of indeterminacy in bioethical theory. The result is a nuanced pragmatic analysis that shows the flaw of many attempts—both liberal and conservative—to translate theory to policy."—Robert Veatch, The Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

"This book represents a solid contribution to the field of bioethics by a distinguished lawyer, physician, and ethicist. It engages topics of salient concern with a consistently cogent and controversial perspective. It is clearly written and should be of interest not only to lawyers, but to everyone in the field of bioethics, and indeed to the general reader, as well."—Bruce Jennings, The Hastings Center

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Editorial Reviews

The Journal of Legal Medicine - Dale H. Cowen
A highly thoughtful and useful contribution to our understanding of how moral principles can be translated into practice, with substantial benefit to individual patients and, as well, to the health care system and our larger society.
Journal of the American Medical Association - James A. Anderson and Charles Weijer
By drawing our attention to future real life implications of the implementation of moral principle, this book forces us to reevaluate the balance between theory and practice and is thus well worth reading.
From the Publisher
"Orentlicher makes a compelling case that our understanding of bioethical controversies could be improved by considering how moral concerns are translated from principle into practice."—Choice

"A highly thoughtful and useful contribution to our understanding of how moral principles can be translated into practice, with substantial benefit to individual patients and, as well, to the health care system and our larger society."—Dale H. Cowen, The Journal of Legal Medicine

"By drawing our attention to future real life implications of the implementation of moral principle, this book forces us to reevaluate the balance between theory and practice and is thus well worth reading."—James A. Anderson and Charles Weijer, Journal of the American Medical Association

Choice
Orentlicher makes a compelling case that our understanding of bioethical controversies could be improved by considering how moral concerns are translated from principle into practice.
Journal of the American Medical Association
By drawing our attention to future real life implications of the implementation of moral principle, this book forces us to reevaluate the balance between theory and practice and is thus well worth reading.
— James A. Anderson and Charles Weijer
The Journal of Legal Medicine
A highly thoughtful and useful contribution to our understanding of how moral principles can be translated into practice, with substantial benefit to individual patients and, as well, to the health care system and our larger society.
— Dale H. Cowen
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691089478
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/12/2001
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.23 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
One: Introduction 1
PART ONE: THE APPROACH OF USING GENERALLY VALID RULES
Two: The Importance of Generally Valid Rules in Implementing Moral Principle 11
Three: The Absence of a Moral Distinction between Treatment Withdrawal and Assisted Suicide 24
Four: The Distinction between Treatment Withdrawal and Assisted Suicide as a Generally Valid Way to Distinguish between Morally Justified and Morally Unjustified Deaths 53
PART TWO: AVOIDING PERVERSE INCENTIVES
Five: The Implications for Practice of a Policy's Perverse Incentives 83
Six: Underlying Moral Principle Permits a Limited Legal Obligation for Pregnant Wowen to Accept Life-Saving Treatment for Their Fetuses 91
Seven: The Problems with a Legal Duty for Pregnant Wowen Because of Perverse Incentives 113
PART THREE: THE "TRAGIC CHOICES" MODEL
Eight: Avoiding Explicit Trade-offs through Implicit Choices 123
Nine: Limitations of the "Futility" Concept in Medical Treatment Decisions 132
Ten: Futility as a Way to Make "Tragic Choices" 153
Conclusion 167
Notes 171
Index 225

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