Bioethics: A Philosophical Introduction

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9780745626185: Bioethics: A Philosophical Introduction
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This book provides a clear and stimulating introduction to bioethics - from the more familiar debates on euthanasia, living wills and new reproductive technologies such as IVF, through to the philosophical implications of recent developments in genetics such as prenatal genetic therapy, genetic enhancement and human cloning.


  • Offers a clear and stimulating textbook introduction to contemporary issues in bioethics.
  • Provides original and provocative contributions to ongoing debates.
  • Guides the reader from the more familiar debates on euthanasia, advance directives, and new reproductive technologies, through to the philosophical implications of developments such as prenatal genetic therapy, genetic enhancement and human cloning.
  • The book is built around four important themes: the nature of moral status (eg of embryos or animals); life, death, and killing (eg euthanasia); the threat to personal identity; the question of whether biomedical innovations can be ‘unnatural’.

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From the Back Cover:

This book provides a clear and stimulating introduction to bioethics. It is also a comprehensive and illuminating study of some of the most important themes of our times. From the more familiar debates on euthanasia, living wills and new reproductive technologies such as IVF, Holland guides the reader through the philosophical implications of recent developments in genetics such as prenatal genetic therapy, genetic enhancement and human cloning. The book is built around four important themes. First, the nature of moral status: do human embryos have moral status? Do animals? What are the implications for bioethics of the moral status of such creatures? The second theme – life, death and killing – looks at the ethics of ending human life, or of failing to lengthen it as long as possible. Holland then explores the question of personal identity as it connects with contemporary bioethical problems. Finally, he presents and develops a version of the argument from nature – which continues to be influential in bioethics – in order to try to make sense of the objection that some biomedical innovations are ‘unnatural’.


By structuring the discussions in this way the author succeeds in creating a clear, engagingly written introduction to bioethics that will be an ideal textbook for students.

About the Author:

Stephen Holland is a Lecturer in Philosophy and Health Sciences at University of York.

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Holland, Stephen
Published by Polity (2002)
ISBN 10: 0745626181 ISBN 13: 9780745626185
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Stephen Holland
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ISBN 10: 0745626181 ISBN 13: 9780745626185
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