Pragmatic Bioethics

Front Cover
Glenn McGee
MIT Press, 2003 - Medical - 293 pages

Modern scientific and medical advances bring new complexity and urgency to ethical issues in health care and biomedical research. This book applies the American philosophical theory of pragmatism to such bioethics. Critics of pragmatism argue that it lacks a universal moral foundation. Yet it is this very lack of a metaphysical dividing line between facts and values that makes pragmatism such a rigorous and appropriate method for solving problems in bioethics. For pragmatism, ethics is a way of satisfying the complex demands of multiple individuals and groups in a contingent and changing world. Pragmatism also demands careful attention to the ways in which scientific advances change our values and ethics. The essays in this book present different approaches to pragmatism and different ways of applying pragmatism to scientific and medical matters. They use pragmatism to guide thinking about such timely topics as stem cell research, human cloning, genetic testing, human enhancement, and care for the poor and aging. This new edition contains three new chapters, on difficulties with applying pragmatism to law and bioethics, on helping people to die, and on embryonic stem cell research.

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About the author (2003)

Glenn McGee is assistant professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of over 100 articles and books. He is the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics, and he writes a monthly column for MS-NBC Online. He lives in Philadelphia, PA.

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