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Paperback 320 pp.
1 table & 4 figures, 8" x 10"



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Bioethics in Canada

Edited by Charles Weijer, Anthony Skelton and Samantha Brennan

This comprehensive introduction to bioethical issues emphasizes Canadian policies, issues, and scholars. Using the human lifespan as an organizing narrative, Bioethics in Canada explores ethical theories through a diverse selection of readings discussing traditional and cutting-edge topics in the field.

Readership : Bioethics in Canada is a core text for bioethics courses, generally offered in second- or third-year through philosophy departments at Canadian universities.


  • "A large part of a course like this is to give students a look at what ethical reasoning looks like, and more importantly, to get them doing it themselves, reflectively and with each other. This book is well structured for achieving that aim."
    --Michael Stingl, University of Lethbridge

About the Authors
1. Conception and Embryos
Agata Sagan and Peter Singer: - The Moral Status of Stem Cells
Soren Holm: - The Ethical Case against Stem Cell Research
Carolyn McLeod and Francoise Baylis: - Feminists on the Inalienability of Human Embryos
2. Fetuses
Don Marquis: - Why Abortion is Immoral
L. Wayne Sumner: - A Third Way
Margaret Olivia Little: - Abortion, Intimacy, and the Duty to Gestate
3. Procreation and Child Rearing
Julian Savulescu: - Procreative Beneficence: Why We Should Select the Best Children
Elizabeth Gedge: - "Healthy" Human Embryos and Symbolic Harm
Rebecca Kukla: - Measuring Mothering
4. Adults and Decision-making
Allan Buchanan and Dan W. Brock: - Deciding for Others: Competence
Benjamin Freedman: - A Moral Theory of Informed Consent
Cheryl Misak: - ICU Psychosis and Patient Autonomy: Some Thoughts from the Inside
5. Conflict about Appropriate Treatment
Lawrence J. Schneiderman, Nancy S. Jecker, and Albert R. Jonsen: - Medical Futility: Its Meaning and Ethical Implications
Robert D. Truog, Allan S. Brett and Joel Frader: - The Problem with Futility
Charles Weijer, Peter A. Singer, Bernard M. Dickens, and Stephen Workman: - Dealing with Demands for Inappropriate Treatment
6. Equipoise and Clinical Research
Benjamin Freedmen: - Equipoise and the Ethics of Clinical Research
Franklin G. Miller and Howard Brody: - A Critique of Clinical Equipoise: Therapeutic Misconception in the Ethics of Clinical Trials
Paul B. Miller and Charles Weijer: - Trust-based Obligations of the State and Physician-Researchers to Patient- Subjects
7. Justice and Access to Health Care
President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research: - An Ethical Framework for Access to Health Care
Jan Narveson: - The Medical Minimum: Zero
Joseph Heath: - Health Care as a Commodity
8. Obligations to the Global Poor
Gopal Sreenivasan: - Health and Justice in our Non-ideal World
Peter Singer: - The Life You Can Save
Ryoa Chung: - Domination and Destitution in an Unjust World
9. Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
Udo Schuklenk, Johannes J. M. van Delden, Jocelyn Downie, Sheila McLean, Ross Upshur, and Daniel Weinstock: - The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel: End-of-Life Decision Making
Benjamin Freedman: - The Rodriguez Case: Sticky Questions and Slippery Answers
Jocelyn Downie and Susan Sherwin: - A Feminist Exploration of Issues Around Assisted Death
10. Defining Death
Louis P. Pojman: - What is Death? The Crisis of Criteria
Roland Puccetti: - Does Anyone Survive Neocortical Death?
Linda L. Emanuel: - Re-examining Death: The Asymptotic Model and a Bounded Zone Definition
11. Harvesting Organs from the Dead
Aaron Spital, and James Stacey Taylor: - Routine Recovery of Cadaveric Organs for Transplantation: Consistent, Fair, and Life-Saving
Walter Glannon: - Do the Sick Have a Right to Cadaveric Organs?
Charles A. Erin and John Harris: - An Ethical Market in Human Organs
12. Bioethics in a Pluralistic Society
R.M. Hare: - Public Policy in a Pluralist Society
Donald C. Ainslie: - Bioethics and the Problem of Pluralism
Will Kymlicka: - Moral Philosophy and Public Policy: The Case of New Reproductive Technologies
13. What is Disease?
Christopher Boorse: - On the Distinction between Disease and Illness
Ian Hackling: - Madness: Biological or Constructed?
Joan C. Callahan: - Menopause: Taking the Cures or Curing the Takes?
14. Public Health
James F. Childress, Ruth R. Faden, Ruth D. Gaare, Lawrence O. Gostin, Jeffrey Kahn, Richard J. Bonnie, Nancy E. Kass, Anna C. Mastroianni, Jonathan D. Moreno, and Phillip Nieburg: - Public Health Ethics: Mapping the Terrain
James Wilson: - Towards a Normative Framework for Public Health Ethics and Policy
Alison K. Thompson, Karen Faith, Jennifer L. Gibson, and Ross E.G. Upshur: - Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: An Ethical Framework to Guide Decision-making
15. Research on Non-human Animals
Carl Cohen: - The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research
Tom Regan: - The Rights of Humans and Other Animals
L. Wayne Sumner: - Animal Welfare and Animals Rights
16. Neuroenhancement
Carl Elliott: - Pursued by Happiness and Beaten Senseless: Prozac and the American Dream
Peter D. Kramer: - The Valorization of Sadness: Alienation and the Melancholic Temperament
Walter Glannon: - Psychopharmacological Enhancement
17. Sexual Justice and Health Care
Alice M. Miller: - Uneasy Promises: Sexuality, Health, and Human Rights
Greta R. Bauer, Rebecca Hammond, Robb Travers, Matthias Kaay, Karin M. Hohenadel, and Michelle Boyce: - "I Don't Think This Is Theoretical; This Is Our Lives:" How Erasure Impacts Health Care for Transgender People
Ami Harbin, Brenda Beagan, and Lisa Goldberg: - Discomfort, Judgment, and Health Care for Queers

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Charles Weijer is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Medicine, is Canada Research Chair in bioethics, and the co-founder of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University, Canada. He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, fellow of the American College of Physicians, and fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He is a widely published and respected physician and philosopher whose research is focused on the ethics of human experimentation.

Anthony Skelton is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at Western University, Canada where he specializes in ethics and the history of ethics. Recent articles have appeared in Journal of the History of Philosophy and Utilitas. He is currently working on a series of papers dealing with the issue of what it is to fare well as a child, and a book provisionally entitled Henry Sidgwick and the Conflicts of Ethics.

Samantha Brennan is a professor in the Department of Philosophy, a member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, and an affiliate member of the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research at Western University, Canada. Her main research interests are in contemporary normative ethics, including feminist approaches to ethics. A complete list of her publications can be found on her homepage, <a href="http://samjaneb.tumblr.com/">http://publish.uwo.ca/~sbrennan</a>.

Doing Right - Philip C. Hebert
Biomedical Ethics - Edited by Johnna Fisher
Bioethics - Lewis Vaughn
Principles of Biomedical Ethics - Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress
Biomedical Ethics - Walter Glannon
Contemporary Bioethics - Jessica Pierce and George Randels

Special Features

  • Readings emphasize Canadian policies, issues, and scholarship giving Canadian students a relevant introduction to bioethics.
  • Designed for one-semester courses, while still allowing for flexibility with topic choices. Chapters 1-12 are core chapters and can be taught in conjunction with any of the five supplemental chapters.
  • Narrative follows the human lifespan, focusing on the most pressing bioethical problems that arise between conception and death.
  • Encourages critical thinking. Every chapter includes three articles with opposing arguments, encouraging students to actively participate in the process of ethical reasoning.
  • Case studies and study questions at the end of every chapter extend the discussion and encourage students to compare, analyze, and formulate their own opinions.