Standing on Principles: Collected Essays

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Tom L. Beauchamp of Georgetown is one of the founding fathers of contemporary bioethics, and is particularly influential as one of the co-authors (with James Childress) of PRINCIPLES OF BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, first published by OUP over 25 years ago and a true cornerstone of contemporary bioethics. This volume is both an introductory textbook as well as a definitive expression of what is known as the dominant "principlist" approach which views bioethical reasoning developing out of four key principles: respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice. This view has been highly influential over the last two decades and has set the agenda for the field.

This volume will collect Tom Beauchamp's 15 most important published articles in bioethics, most of which were published over the last 25 years, and most of which have a strong connection to the principlist approach. Most of the essays included here augment, develop, or defend various themes, positions and arguments in that earlier book, both adding depth as well as taking off in new directions. Among the topic discussed are the historical origins of modern research ethics, to moral principles and methodological concerns. Beauchamp will include a new introduction to explain the history of the essays and their relationship to the principlist theory.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Holly A Bante, MPH, MS (Saint Louis University)
Description: This collection of 15 important and influential essays by Tom Beauchamp over the last 25 years focuses on significant bioethics topics that are discussed mostly in the context of the principlist approach, which centers bioethical reasoning on four main principles: beneficence, nonmaleficence, respect for autonomy, and justice. The principlist approach, developed by both Beauchamp and coauthor James Childress, was first described and defended in the transformative Principles of Biomedical Ethics, first published in 1979 and now in its sixth edition from Oxford University Press.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a collection of essays that focus not only on substantive bioethics issues, but also on moral principles and methodology. Topics and chapters are similar to discussions in Principles of Biomedical Ethics, but many topics have been further explored and defended.
Audience: Tom Beauchamp is considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary bioethics. Students and scholars alike will enjoy the journey through the diverse material in this book, starting with the emergence of the principles in the mid-1970s, and moving to discussions of the process of informed consent, exploitation in pharmaceutical research, and defense of common morality theory.
Features: The book is divided into three parts: "The Belmont Report and the Rise of Principles," "Principlism and Practice," and "Theory and Method." Although some of the essays mirror the content of Principles of Biomedical Ethics, some have been augmented to include new defenses regarding the application of Beauchamp and Childress's common morality theory, while others have gone in new directions.
Assessment: Readers will get a glimpse into key bioethical issues that the author has explored over the last 25 years with this book. Many essays overlap with discussions in the numerous editions of the canonical textbook, but the author provides a thorough introduction and explains the publishing history and how the essays have evolved. This is a wonderful resource for bioethics students and scholars. Although some of the essays were written decades ago, they are valuable for anyone wishing to see how Beauchamp has continued to shape the field of bioethics and refine his arguments for common morality theory.
From the Publisher
"Readers will get a glimpse into key bioethical issues that the author has explored over the last 25 years with this book...This is a wonderful resource for bioethics students and scholars." —Doody's

"Readers should add Standing on Principles to their professional libraries as one of the "essentials." They will find themselves experiencing the splendid rewards of turning to it again and again." —JAMA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199737185
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. Author of PRINCIPLES OF BIOMEDICAL ETHICS, OUP, now in a sixth edition.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I The Belmont Report and the Rise of Principles

1 The Origins and Evolution of the Belmont Report 3

2 Codes, Declarations, and Other Ethical Guidance for Human Subjects Research: The Belmont Report 18

Pt. II Principlism and Practice

3 The Four Principles Approach to Health Care Ethics 35

4 Informed Consent: Its History and Meaning 50

5 Who Deserves Autonomy and Whose Autonomy Deserves Respect? 79

6 The Concept of Paternalism in Biomedical Ethics 101

7 When Hastened Death is Neither Killing nor Letting Die 120

8 The Exploitation of the Economically Disadvantaged in Pharmaceutical Research 132

Pt. III Theory and Method

9 Principles and Other Emerging Paradigms in Bioethics 153

10 A Defense of the Common Morality 175

11 From Morality to Common Morality 189

12 On Eliminating the Distinction Between Applied Ethics and Ethical Theory 211

13 Does Ethical Theory Have a Future in Bioethics? 229

14 The Failure of Theories of Personhood 247

15 Looking Back and Judging Our Predecessors 261

Index 281

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