Bioethics in Social Context

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Temple University Press, 2009 - Medical - 244 pages
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The problems of bioethics are embedded in people's lives and social worlds. They are shaped by individual biographies and relationships, by the ethos and institutions of health care, by economic and political pressures, by media depictions, and by the assumptions, beliefs, and values that permeate cultures and times. Yet these forces are largely ignored by a professional bioethics that concentrates on the theoretical justification of decisions. The original essays in this volume use qualitative research methods to expose the multiple contexts within which the problems of bioethics arise, are defined and debated, and ultimately resolved. In a provocative concluding essay, one contributor asks his fellow ethnographers to reflect on the ethical problems of ethnography.
 

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Contents

Clinical Narratives and Ethical Dilemmas in Geriatrics
12
Situated Ethics Culture and the Brain Death Problem in Japan
39
Constructing Moral Boundaries Public Discourse on Human Experimentation in TwentiethCentury America
69
Media Images Genetics and Culture Potential Impacts of Reporting Scientific Findings on Bioethics
90
Emotions in Medical and Moral Life
112
A Contextual Approach to Clinical Ethics Consultation
137
Family Values and Resistance to Genetic Testing
153
Ethics Committees and Social Change Plus ca Change?
180
Irony Ethnography and Informed Consent
199
Afterword
221
About the Contributors
229
Index
231
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About the author (2009)

Hoffmaster is professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. From 1991 to 1996 he was the Director of the Westminster Institute for Ethics and Human Values in London, Ontario, and he served as President of the Canadian Bioethics Society in 1994-95. He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center.

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