Bioethics: A Return to Fundamentals
Bernard Gert, Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor of Ethics and Human Values Bernard Gert, Charles M. Culver, K. Danner Clouser
Oxford University Press, 1997 - Medical - 320 pages
An updated and expanded successor to Culver and Gert's Philosophy in Medicine, this book integrates moral philosophy with clinical medicine to present a comprehensive summary of the theory, concepts, and lines of reasoning underlying the field of bioethics. Rather than concentrating narrowly on bioethics and investigating moral philosophy only marginally, the authors provide an explicit account of common morality and show how it applies to and is modified by the realities of clinical medicine. Such broader knowledge finds its specific practical application when one attempts to resolve the more complex and difficult cases.
This book does not attempt to settle all controversial matters, but rather provides an ethical framework that various parties to the dispute can accept and use as a basis for reaching agreement. Thus, the authors' main goal is to facilitate ethical discussion. Their detailed analyses of death and disease maintain the theoretical objectivity of these concepts while recognizing their central role in social and medical practices. They also provide in-depth discussions of the central concepts and issues in bioethics: competence, consent, justification for moral rule violations, and confidentiality. Paternalism, one of the most pervasive problems in clinical medicine, is accorded special attention. All these concepts have been integrated and systematically grounded within common morality. The book is richly illustrated with discussions of clinical cases. The authors explicitly compare their position with other accounts of bioethics such as principlism, casuistry, and virtue theory. Their discussion of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide clarifies and evaluates the recent legal decisions on these topics. The arguments throughout the volume stand out with characteristic clarity and cogency.
A fresh and all-encompassing approach to bioethics that does not shy away from controversy, Bioethics: A Return to Fundamentals will interest not only students in philosophy of medicine and medical ethics courses, but also moral philosophers and bioethicists, as well as doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.
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