Ethics in Medicine: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Concerns

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9780262680295: Ethics in Medicine: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Concerns

This book is a comprehensive and unique text and reference in medical ethics. By far the most inclusive set of primary documents and articles in the field ever published, it contains over 100 selections. Virtually all pieces appear in their entirety, and a significant number would be difficult to obtain elsewhere.

The volume draws upon the literature of history, medicine, philosophical and religious ethics, economics, and sociology. A wide range of topics and issues are covered, such as law and medicine, truth-telling by the physician, research, population policy, genetics, abortion, dying, and individual rights in medical care. The selections span the centuries, beginning with material from the works of Hippocrates, continuing through Thomas Percival, John Stuart Mill, and Claude Bernard, down to modern commentators like Henry K. Beecher, Walsh McDermott, David L. Bazelon, Paul Freund, H. L. A. Hart, John Rawls, Paul Ramsey, Richard McCormick, Rashi Fein, and Bernard Barber.

The text has eight major divisions, beginning with sections on the ethical dimensions of the physician-patient relationship in history; the moral bases of medical ethics; and regulation, compulsion, and protection of the consumer in clinical medicine and public health. Each of these sections includes key essays that appear for the first time.

All of the book's major divisions contain primary documents: codes such as the Hippocratic Oath, Medieval Law for the Regulation of Medicine, and the first as well as the most recent code of the American Medical Association; court decisions, including those on Karen Quinlan and on abortion in the United States and West Germany; government documents such as the statement of the National Commission on the Protection of Human Subjects, the Tuskegee Syphilis Report, the British Parliamentary debate on euthanasia, and the Council of Europe on rights of the sick and dying; and various published guidelines such as the Harvard Medical School brain death criteria, the American Hospital Association on patient's rights, and Pope Pius XII on the prolongation of life.

Cases that illustrate moral dilemmas are provided for discussion purposes. Each section is preceded by a succinct editor's introduction.

The documents and essays are of practical value for practitioners and students in medicine, law, ethics, and counselling, and for individual patients and groups concerned with medical care. Through encompassing divergent viewpoints, the essays and primary documents were selected to encourage humane practices and deepen understanding of the multiple traditions that shaped and do shape the development of medicine.

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Published by The MIT Press (1977)
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Stanley Joel Reiser (Editor), Arthur J. Dyck (Editor), William J. Curran (Editor)
Published by The MIT Press (1977)
ISBN 10: 0262680297 ISBN 13: 9780262680295
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