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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $105.99

Paperback, eBook
440 pp.
6" x 9"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Doing Right

A Practical Guide to Ethics for Medical Trainees and Physicians, Fourth Edition

Philip C. Hebert and Wayne Rosen

A case-based approach that provides the advice and skills medical practitioners need to help patients and overcome ethical challenges

Now in its fourth edition, Doing Right offers healthcare trainees and practitioners alike a comprehensive, user-friendly guide to contemporary biomedical ethics. Taking an applied case-based approach, this engaging text explores complex ethical issues through real-life scenarios, making it relatable to all types of healthcare professionals.

Readership : Doing Right: A Practical Guide to Ethics for Medical Trainees and Physicians, fourth edition, is aimed at second- and third-year ethics courses offered out of medical schools, health sciences departments, and nursing programs.


  • "Helping and not harming, keeping secrets, truth telling, and much more-Doing Right is a wise, highly readable, and practical guide towards being the kind of doctor or nurse every patient hopes to have.
    --Priscilla Alderson, PhD, Professor Emerita, University College, London, UK
  • "Hébert and Rosen have accomplished something rare in the world of medical ethics books: they combine a library's worth of real-life clinical cases, with smart ethical analysis, supported by relevant historico-legal perspectives, to produce a thoughtful and practical approach to understanding (and resolving) ethical issues in medicine."
    --Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, and Former Executive Director, US National Bioethics Advisory Commission
  • "For over twenty years Doing Right has been regarded as the premier resource in Canada for teaching clinical ethics to health care professionals. This revised and expanded 4th edition ensures it will maintain that status for years to come"
    --Daryl Pullman, PhD, Professor of Medical Ethics, Memorial University

  • "The foundational text in Canadian medical ethics has added engaging new material, while retaining its clarity and focus on practical decision-making. Everyone from undergraduate students to practicing clinicians will find this book instructive and inspiring."
    --Dr Merril Pauls, CCFP(EM), MHSc, Professor & Co-director of Professionalism teaching, University of Manitoba

  • "This Fourth Edition of Doing Right provides an excellent overview of the ethical questions most frequently encountered in contemporary medical practice. Grounded in a diverse array of real-life cases, it will serve as an outstanding resource for ethics educators in Canada."
    --Dr Mona Gupta, Associate Clinical Professor, Université de Montréal and Chair of the Ethics Committee of the RCPSC

1. Ethics Matters
I. Great Expectations: Healthcare Professionals and Ethics
II. Four Ethical Principles and Questions
II. The Principles and Ethical Reasoning in Medicine
IV. Beyond Principles
V. The Hidden Curriculum
VI. Overcoming Obstacles to Ethics
2. Broadening the Horizon: What Law and Ethics Say
I. What the Law Says
II. What Ethics Says: Virtue, Rules, and Consequences in Medicine
III. Expanding the Horizons of Ethics
IV. Professional Ethics
3. Managing Medical Morality
I. Managing Ethical Dilemmas
II. Really Hard Choices Are Not Always About Ethics
III. "Doing Right": A Process For Managing Ethical Choice
IV. The Ethics Process in a Little More Detail
V. Applying the Ethics Process
4. The Times Are Changing: Autonomy and Patient-Based Care
I. The Autonomy Principle
II. Autonomy as the Patient's Preference
III. The Case of Ms. Malette and Dr. Shulman
IV. Choices: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
5. Reasonable Persons: The Legal Roots of Informed Consent
I. Medical Consent
II. Informed Consent: A Brief Legal History
III. Informed Consent: The Canadian Context
IV. The Significance of Reibl v. Hughes: The Modified Objective Standard
6. Informed Choice and Truthtelling: The Centrality of Truth and Trust
I. Disclosure and Truthtelling
II. The Elements of Informed Choice
III. Consent as Trust
IV. Other Special Circumstances
V. Special Circumstances and Limits on Truthtelling
7. Keeping Secrets: Confidentiality and Privacy in the Electronic Age
I. Confidentiality and Privacy
II. Privacy, Confidentiality, and Trust
III. New Risks to Privacy
IV. Limits to Confidentiality
V. To Warn and to Protect
8. The Waning and Waxing Self: Capacity and Incapacity in Medical Care
I. Incapacity and its Discontents
II. Assessing Capacity
III. Capacity and Consent
IV. Treating and Protecting the Vulnerable
V. Substitute and Assisted Decision-Making
VI. Mental Illness and the Right to Refuse
VII. Children's Right to Refuse
9. Helping and Not Harming: Beneficence and Non-Maleficence
I. The Principles of Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
II. A Duty to Attend?
III. Risks to the Professional
IV. Endangering One's Self
V. Parental Refusals of Treatment
VI. Parental Requests for Treatment
10. Conduct Becoming: Medical Professionalism
I. Maintaining the Connection
II. A New Professionalism
III. Conflicts of Interest
IV. Professionals and Industry
V. Boundaries Large and Small
VI. Fitness to Practise Medicine
11. The End of Forgetting: Ethical and Professional Issues with Social Media
I. Friends, Boundaries, and Privacy in the Age of Social Media
II. The Personal and the Private
III. Patients Using Social Media
IV. Photographs and Patient Privacy
V. Internet Etiquette and Telling Others' Stories
12. The Error of Our Ways: Managing Medical Error
I. Medical Error
II. Error and Being Responsive to Patients
III. How to Disclose Error
IV. Apologies
V. Large-Scale Adverse Events
13. Beyond the Patient: Doing Justice to Justice
I. Justice in Everyday Medicine
II. A System of Mmutual Recognition
III. Distributive Justice
IV. Squeezing the Balloon
V. Guidelines and Rationing
VI. Justice for All?
14. Labour Pains: Ethics and New Life
I. Birthing and Reproductive Choice
II. Termination and Choice
III. The New Age of Reproduction
IV. Desperately Seeking Stem Cells
15. A Dark Wood: End-of-Life Decisions
I. Allowing Death: Refusals by Patients
II. Competent Cecisions, Living Wills, and Advance Directives
III. Decisions to Withhold or Withdraw Life-Sustaining Treatment
IV. Persistent Vegetative States and Prognostic Error
V. Unilateral Decisions Regarding Life-Sustaining Treatment
VI. Palliative Sedation
16. Medical Assistance in Dying: The Triumph of Autonomy
I. Assisted Death: Terminology and Other Jurisdictions
II. Medically-Assisted Death in Canada: A Brief History
III. Legislating Medical Assistance in Dying: Bill C-14
IV. MAID: Minors, Advance Requests, and Mental Illness
V. MAID and Issues of Conscience
17. Nature and Culture: Of Genes and Memes
I. All in the Genome?
II. Cultural Connections
III. Worlds Apart?
IV. Culture and Defying Death
V. Transcending Culture
18. The Ethical Regulation of Research
I. Medicine's Legacy
II. The Purpose of Research
III. Consent for Research
IV. The Tissue Issue
V. Some Questions and Answers Regarding Research
Conclusion: Setting our Sights

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

Philip C. Hébert is emeritus professor of family medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and former chair of the Research Ethics Board at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Wayne Rosen is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Calgary.

Bioethics in Canada - Edited by Charles Weijer and Anthony Skelton
Biomedical Ethics - Edited by Johnna Fisher, J. S. Russell, Alister Browne and Leslie Burkholder

Special Features

  • Comprehensive coverage of a range of ethical challenges provides students with a solid overview of biomedical ethics that incorporates current thinking, trends, and controversies in the field.
  • Over 125 case studies draw on real-life scenarios to help students develop skills to analyze and resolve the ethical dilemmas medical practitioners face on a day-to-day basis.
  • Accessible language avoids philosophical and legal jargon, making the material easy to understand and suitable for students without previous ethics training.