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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tyler S Gibb, JD, PhD (c)(UCLA Health Ethics Center)
Description: As clinical medicine changes, the books covering ethical issues and complex problem-solving must keep pace. This edition succeeds in doing so, presenting an expansion, clarification, and tightening of critical sections.
Purpose: The purpose of this edition is to add case updates and explanatory material to this widely used book. Much of the structure and organization of the book remains unchanged in this edition, but the updated material is useful and provides additional cases for classroom discussion and analysis.
Audience: Many books aim to introduce various audiences to bioethics and clinical ethics decision-making. This one is uniquely valuable to three groups: early-career clinicians, students and residents, and ethics committee members. The cases and explanatory material are easy to understand, can provide the foundation for fruitful classroom discussion, and may also provide analytical frameworks for approaching real-life ethical dilemmas. In particular, the chapter on confusing ethical distinctions is critical in fulfilling the book's explicit goal of providing examples of "how to think through and resolve difficult cases."
Features: Although this edition preserves the majority of the chapters and organization from the fourth edition, it adds clarifications and information throughout. For instance, chapter 43 adds material about standards of care during public crises. Also, various emerging topics and issues are culled from other sections to create a new final section (VII) entitled "Current Controversies," which will likely expand in subsequent editions.
Assessment: This edition is an update and clarification of previous editions of this extremely useful book. This edition may not be a necessary purchase for owners of the fourth edition, but the additional material and expanded cases make this a very valuable book for clinicians, students, and ethics committee members.