Naturalized Bioethics: Toward Responsible Knowing and Practice

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Naturalized Bioethics represents a revolutionary change in how health care ethics is practiced. It calls for bioethicists to give up their dependence on utilitarianism and other ideal moral theories and instead to move toward a self-reflexive, socially inquisitive, politically critical, and inclusive ethics. Wary of idealizations that bypass social realities, the naturalism in ethics that is developed in this volume is empirically nourished and acutely aware that ethical theory is the practice of particular people in particular times, places, cultures, and professional environments. The essays in this collection examine the variety of embodied experiences of individual people. They situate the bioethicist within the clinical or research context, take seriously the web of relationships in which all human beings are nested, and explore a number of the many different kinds of power relations that inform health care encounters. Naturalized Bioethics aims to help bioethicists, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, disability studies scholars, medical researchers, and other health professionals address the ethical issues surrounding health care.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Naturalized Bioethics is an excellent anthology, well-worth reading. Many of the issues it raises are in fact new and it deepens our understanding of concepts such as autonomy and responsibility. Also welcome is the book’s persistent focus on power issues. In this connection, I found the concluding chapter particularly good. In it, Verkerk and Lindemann plead with bioethicists to rethink their own professional identity. Bioethicists are not ethics experts in the sense of being more morally right or morally good than other people…Bioethicists are the enablers of moral conversation. It may begin with them, but it should not end with them — at least not in the real/natural world in which we actually live.”
Rosemarie Tong, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521895248
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/13/2008
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Hilde Lindemann is Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University. A former editor of Hypatia and The Hastings Center Report, she is the author of a number of books, including An Invitation to Feminist Ethics and Damaged Identities, Narrative Repair.

Marian Verkerk is Professor of the Ethics of Care at the University Medical Center, Groningen, in the Netherlands, where she is also Head of the Department of Medical Ethics, Health Law, and Medical Humanities and Director of the Center for the Ethics of Care.

Margaret Urban Walker is Lincoln Professor of Ethics and Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University. Her work on moral epistemology and moral psychology includes Moral Repair: Reconstructing Moral Relations After Wrongdoing; Moral Contexts; and Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics, now in its second edition.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Responsible Knowing: 1. Moral bodies: epistemologies of embodiment Jackie Leach Scully; 2. Choosing surgical birth: desire and the nature of bioethical advice Raymond DeVries, Lisa Kane Low, and Elizabeth Bogdan-Lovis; 3. Holding on to Edmund: the relational work of identity Hilde Lindemann; 4. Caring, minimal autonomy, and the limits of liberalism Agnieszka Jaworska; 5. Narrative, complexity, and context: autonomy as an epistemic value Naomi Scheman; 6. Toward a naturalized narrative bioethics Tod Chambers; Part II. Responsible Practice: 7. Motivating health: empathy and the normative activity of coping Jodi Halpern and Margaret Olivia Little; 8. Economies of hope in a period of transition: parents in the time leading up to their child's liver transplantation Marre Knibbe and Marian Verkerk; 9. Consent as a grant of autonomy: a care ethics reader of informed consent Joan Tronto; 10. Professional loving care and the bearable heaviness of being Annelies van Heijst; 11. Ideal theory bioethics and the exclusion of people with severe cognitive disabilities Eva Feder Kittay; 12. Epilogue: naturalized bioethics in practice Marian Verkerk and Hilde Lindemann.

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