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Print Price: $57.99

192 pp.
208 mm x 140 mm


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP US

Biomedical Ethics

Walter Glannon

Series : Fundamentals of Philosophy Series

Today, advances in medicine and biotechnology occur at a rapid pace and have a profound impact on our lives. Mechanical devices can sustain an injured person's life indefinitely. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the body and brain can reveal disorders before symptoms appear. Genetic testing of embryos can predict whether people will have diseases earlier or later in life. It may even become possible to clone human beings. These and other developments raise difficult ethical questions.
Biomedical Ethics is an engaging philosophical introduction to the most important ethical positions and arguments in six areas of biomedicine: the patient-doctor relationship, medical research on humans, reproductive rights and technologies, genetics, medical decisions at the end of life, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. Concisely capturing the historical, contemporary, and future-oriented aspects of the field, author Walter Glannon discusses both perennial issues in medicine, such as doctors' duties to patients, and recent and emerging issues in scientific innovation, including gene therapy and cloning. Ideal for undergraduate courses in contemporary moral problems, introduction to ethics, and introduction to bioethics, Biomedical Ethics is accessible to students who have little or no background in ethical theory, medicine, or biotechnology.


  • Advance praise (first two quotes): "Glannon's clear and lively use of contemporary cases and policies in biomedical ethics will appeal to health care practitioners as well as to bioethicists. Most important, it will capture the interest of students who are routinely confronted with biomedical issues in their everyday personal and professional lives. Glannon will help readers set their moral compass straight enough to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of health care."--Rosemarie Tong, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • "A well-written and informative introduction to the topic of biomedical ethics. The author is familiar not only with the philosophical literature, but is also knowledgeable about the practice of medicine as it occurs today. A refreshing change from many of the current texts used in philosophy classes."--Scott Wilson, Wright State University

Each chapter opens with an Introduction and ends with a Conclusion and Selected Readings.
1. History and Theories
The Need for Theories
Consequentialism and Deontology
Virtue Ethics and Feminist Ethics
Communitarianism and Liberalism
The Rejection of Theories: Casuistry and Cultural Relativism
2. The Patient-Doctor Relationship
Informed Consent
Therapeutic Privilege
Cross-Cultural Relations
What Sort of Doctors Do We Need?
3. Medical Research on Humans
Design of Clinical Trials
Equipoise, Randomization, and Placebos
Problems with Consent
Vulnerable Populations
Protections and Justice
4. Reproductive Rights and Technologies
The Moral Status of Embryos
Surrogate Pregnancy
Sex Selection
5. Genetics
Genetic Testing and Screening
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Gene Therapy
Genetic Enhancement
6. Medical Decisions at the End of Life
Defining Death
Withdrawing and Withholding Treatment
Double Effect
Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
7. Allocating Scarce Medical Resources
Setting Priorities
Quality-Adjusted Life-Years
Age-Based Rationing
Organ Transplantation
Two-Tiered Health Care

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

Glannon Glannon is Assistant Professor, Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia.

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