American Bioethics

Crossing Human Rights and Health Law Boundaries

American Bioethics

Bioethics was "born in the USA" and the values American bioethics embrace are based on American law, including liberty and justice. This book crosses the borders between bioethics and law, but moves beyond the domestic law/bioethics struggles for dominance by exploring attempts to articulate universal principles based on international human rights. The isolationism of bioethics in the US is not tenable in the wake of scientific triumphs like decoding the human genome, and civilizational tragedies like international terrorism. Annas argues that by crossing boundaries which have artificially separated bioethics and health law from the international human rights movement, American bioethics can be reborn as a global force for good, instead of serving mainly the purposes of U.S. academics. This thesis is explored in a variety of international contexts such as terrorism and genetic engineering, and in U.S. domestic disputes such as patient rights and market medicine. The citizens of the world have created two universal codes: science has sequenced the human genome and the United Nations has produced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The challenge for American bioethics is to combine these two great codes in imaginative and constructive ways to make the world a better, and healthier, place to live.

Ibero-American Bioethics

History and Perspectives

Ibero-American Bioethics

This book is the first in a series of planned volumes focused on preserving the character of the development of bioethics in particular cultural contexts. As the first of these volumes, Leo Pessini, Christian de Paul de Barchifontaine, and Fernando Lolas Stepke’s work has succeeded well. It has brought together accounts by sch- ars who were crucial to the emergence of bioethics in the Ibero-American cultural domain. This trail-blazing work in the history of bioethics will be of enduring s- nificance. I am deeply in their debt for having shouldered this far from easy task. Bioethics is the product of very particular socio-historical developments. Most prominent among them have been (1) the secularization of the dominant culture of North America, Western Europe, and now Central and South America as well, (2) a deflation of the status and authority of physicians as moral authorities able to guide their own profession, and (3) the salience of a post-traditional animus that gives c- tral place to persons as isolated atomic sources of moral authority. Bioethics initially took shape in North America as a post-Christian, post-professional, post-traditional social movement. This bioethics sought to establish a moral discourse for the public forum, a moral practice able to give practical guidance in hospitals and other insti- tions, and a body of undergirding and justifying theoretical reflections.

African American Bioethics

Culture, Race, and Identity

African American Bioethics

Do people of differing ethnicities, cultures, and races view medicine and bioethics differently? And, if they do, should they? Are doctors and researchers taking environmental perspectives into account when dealing with patients? If so, is it done effectively and properly? In African American Bioethics, Lawrence J. Prograis Jr. and Edmund D. Pellegrino bring together medical practitioners, researchers, and theorists to assess one fundamental question: Is there a distinctive African American bioethics? The book's contributors resoundingly answer yes—yet their responses vary. They discuss the continuing African American experience with bioethics in the context of religion and tradition, work, health, and U.S. society at large—finding enough commonality to craft a deep and compelling case for locating a black bioethical framework within the broader practice, yet recognizing profound nuances within that framework. As a more recent addition to the study of bioethics, cultural considerations have been playing catch-up for nearly two decades. African American Bioethics does much to advance the field by exploring how medicine and ethics accommodate differing cultural and racial norms, suggesting profound implications for growing minority groups in the United States.

Controversies in Latin American Bioethics

Controversies in Latin American Bioethics

This book offers a first rate selection of academic articles on Latin American bioethics. It covers different issues, such as vulnerability, abortion, biomedical research with human subjects, environment, exploitation, commodification, reproductive medicine, among others. Latin American bioethics has been, to an important extent, parochial and unable to meet stringent international standards of rational philosophical discussion. The new generations of bioethicists are changing this situation, and this book demonstrates that change. All articles are written from the perspective of Latin American scholars from several disciplines such as philosophy and law. Working with the tools of analytical philosophy and jurisprudence, this book defends views with rational argument, and opening for pluralistic discussion.

Standard of Care

The Law of American Bioethics

Standard of Care

American law, not philosophy or medicine, is the major force shaping American bioethics. This is both because law at its best fosters individual rights, equality, and justice, and because violation of the legal duty or "standard of care" a physician owes a patient can lead to a malpractice suit. The law has therefore had two conflicting impacts on medical ethics: the positive effect of eroding paternalism and replacing it with a patient-centered ethic; and the negative effect of encouraging physicians to be more concerned with avoiding litigation than doing the "right" thing. Standard of Care explores the fundamental value conflicts confronting medicine and society by examining courtroom resolutions of real bioethical disputes, often of constitutional dimension. This case-based approach, which ranges from abortion to euthanasia, from AIDS to organ transplantation, from genetic research to the artificial heart and rationing, illuminates the value choices with which the power (and impotence) of medicine confronts us. George Annas urges health care professionals to go beyond the minimalist legal "standard of care" by promoting a vigorous, patient-centered medical ethics based on respect for human rights and responsibility to both patients and society. If modern medicine is to enhance human life, a reconceptualization of law as the beginning of ethical discourse, rather than as an instrument to end it, is essential. Such a discourse could enrich all our lives by helping us to articulate both a national and international agenda for human rights in health.

Observing Bioethics

Observing Bioethics

Observing Bioethics examines the history of bioethics as a discipline related not only to modern biology, medicine, and biotechnology, but also to the core values and beliefs of American society and its courts, legislatures, and media. The book is written from the perspective of two social scientists--a sociologist of medicine(Renee C. Fox) and a historian of medicine (Judith P. Swazey)--who have participated in bioethics since the emergence of this multidisciplinary field more than 30 years ago. Fox and Swazey draw on first-hand observations and experiences in a variety of American bioethical settings; face-to-face interviews with first- and second-generation figures in the genesis and early unfolding of bioethics; a detailed examination of the theatrical media coverage of what was considered to be a banner event in the annals of bioethics (the creation and birth of the cloned sheep, Dolly); case studies of how bioethics has internationally developed; and a large corpus of primary documents and secondary source materials. While recognizing the intellectual, moral, and sociological importance of American bioethics, Fox and Swazey are critical of its characteristics. Foremost among these are what they identify as the problems of thinking socially, culturally, and internationally in American bioethics; the 'tenuous interdisciplinarity' of the field; and the troubling extent to which the 'culture wars' have penetrated bioethics. This book will appeal to a wide range of doctors, scientists, and academics who are involved in the history and sociology of bioethics.

Bioethics

Latin American Perspectives

Bioethics

This book presents a unique view of the current state of development of bioethics in Latin America. Twelve Latin American thinkers who share a primary interest in bioethics address a vast range of questions, including autonomy, rights, justice, and the role of culture and religion in bioethics. These studies contribute to an understanding of Latin American thought, and they make possible a transcultural dialogue on bioethical issues.

Bioethics: Volume 19

Bioethics: Volume 19

Assesses the methodology of bioethics and examines a variety of moral and political issues.

Meta Medical Ethics

The Philosophical Foundations of Bioethics

Meta Medical Ethics

What is bioethics? What are its goals and theoretical assumptions? Is it a unique discipline? Must medical ethics be grounded in clinical experience? How can ethical inquiry inform medicine's theory and practice? Must one have a definition of medicine before one can have a medical ethic? Does medicine have a unique or demarcating body of knowledge, methodology, or philosophy? These troubling questions are addressed by a distinguished roster of philosophers, theologians, lawyers, social scientists, physicians and scientists. The unifying theme of this text is a philosophical exploration of the history, nature, scope and foundations of bioethics. There is a critical evaluation of principled, communitarian, legal, narrative and feminist approaches. The book's interdisciplinary focus allows for a lively dialogue which includes papers and accompanying commentaries. Meta Medical Ethics will be of interest to philosophers of science and medical ethicists, physicians, lawyers, policy makers.