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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jason Lesandrini, MA (Saint Louis University)
Description: The editors compile essays by renowned scholars that cover a wide array of ethical problems arising in healthcare, ranging from methodological issues to particular problems in the delivery of healthcare. This updates the first edition published in 1994.
Purpose: The aim is to supply those interested in healthcare ethics with a textbook that covers the major ethical issues in healthcare practice from both an international and multidisciplinary perspective.
Audience: The book is written for anyone with an interest in healthcare ethics. Given the introduction to each section by the editors, the book is very accessible to individuals with no background in the subject.
Features: The editors divide the book into four parts. The essays in part one concentrate on the different approaches used to tackle ethical dilemmas in healthcare, e.g., principilism, casuistry, and different religious and ethical theories. Parts two and three include detailed analyses on a wide array of healthcare practice issues, separated into ethical concerns for individuals and populations. In particular, the essay on living donor organ transplantation in part two provides an excellent overview of the ethical problems involved in this area and pays special attention to the conflict between autonomy and the principle of "do no harm." The final part of the book presents essays on current controversies in research ethics and emerging technologies.
Assessment: This is a well thought out book covering a wide variety of ethical problems in healthcare. It provides those interested in healthcare ethics a great resource for starting their inquiry and would be a valuable acquisition. Although there are other books that address similar concerns, none of them has the depth or breadth of this book. This edition is a significant improvement over the previous one because it no longer focuses solely on principilism and its impact on healthcare ethics. Rather, the editors recognize that healthcare ethics is a diverse field with contributions coming from alternative frameworks.