Canadian scholars
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
2015 bioethics 2e cvr
Canadian Scholars’ Press
570 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2015
Print ISBN: 9781551307237
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Every day bioethical conflicts arise in Canadian hospitals and courtrooms; they are debated in newspaper columns and argued in private. This updated edition of Bioethics in Canada provides an accessible introduction to the philosophical, historical, and medical concepts shaping these contemporary, and very contentious, debates.

Bioethics in Canada opens with an introduction to moral theory and bioethical principles. These theoretical conceptions are then applied to practical ethical conflicts involving abortion, distributive justice, genetics, reproductive technology, and other vital topics. A landmark case opens each chapter, illuminating the many issues involved in these debates, as well as the philosophical assumptions that shape them. This highly usable text features excerpts of significant bioethical writings, as well as recommended websites, suggestions for further reading, and original case studies for students to analyze.

With new information on emerging topics such as transplant tourism and multicultural challenges in pluralistic societies; updated research, recommended reading lists, and web resources; and new cases of interest, this second edition will be a valuable resource for many classes in the disciplines of Philosophy, Health Studies, Medicine, and Nursing, providing a strong ethical foundation in a field whose technical frontiers are ever shifting.

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Table of Contents

Each chapter also includes an introduction, a conclusion, cases of interest, case studies, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and recommended websites.

Chapter 1: Ethical Theory
     The Ultimate Case Study
     Ethical Theories, Ethical Dilemmas, and the Case Study in Bioethics
     Utilitarianism: Happiness, and the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number
     Mill’s Refinement of Utilitarian Theory
     Kantianism: Is My Action Right or Wrong?
     Strengths and Weaknesses of the Theory
     Virtue Ethics: What Sort of Person Should I Be?
     Strengths of the Theory
     Weaknesses of the Theory
     Feminist Approaches to Ethics
     The Ethics of Care: From Psychology to Philosophy
     Feminist Ethics
     Philosophical Reflection on Religion and Ethics

Chapter 2: Distributive Justice
     Landmark Case: Jacques Chaoulli
     Methods for the Distribution of Health Care Resources
     Ethical Theory and Distributive Justice
     Guidelines for Limiting Health Care
     Distribution and Procedural Justice
     Distributive Justice and Global Concerns
     Philosophical Reflection on Thought Experiments, John Rawls, and Distributive Justice

Chapter 3: The Health Care Professional–Patient Relationship
     Landmark Case: Scott Starson
     The Goals of Medicine
     Models of the Doctor-Patient Relationship
     The Nurse-Patient Relationship: An Evolving Ethic
     Autonomy: Theoretical Considerations
     The Ethical Limits of Autonomy
     Informed Consent
     Strong and Weak Paternalism
     Advance Directives
     Feminist Challenges to the Autonomy-Based Concept of the Doctor–Patient Relationship
     Autonomy and the Experience of Illness
     Multicultural Challenges in Pluralistic Societies
     Philosophical Reflection on the Concept of Autonomy and Modern Perspectives on Human Flourishing

Chapter 4: Medical Research
     Landmark Case: Jesse Gelsinger
     Historical Aspects: Uses and Abuses of Medical Research
     The Goal of Medical Research: Healing or Knowledge?
     Therapeutic Misconceptions
     Informed Consent
     Randomized Clinical Trials and the Use of Placebos
     Conflict of Interest in Research
     Does Bad Ethics Make Bad Science?
     Research on Animals
     Ethical Theory and Medical Research
     Philosophical Reflection on Medical Research

Chapter 5: Reproductive Technologies
     Landmark Case: Jaycee Buzzanca
     The Rise of Reproductive Technologies
     Infertility and the Desire to Have Children
     Causes and Conceptions of Infertility
     The Procreative Liberty Argument and the Harm Principle
     Weaknesses of the Procreative Liberty Argument
     Ethical Theory and Assisted Reproduction
     Feminist Concerns about Assisted Reproductive Practices
     Cross-Border Reproductive Care and the Baby Manji Case
     Philosophical Reflection on Technology and Bioethics

Chapter 6: The Genetic Revolution
     Landmark Case: Nancy Wexler
     Conflicting Visions of the Future
     Pre-symptomatic Testing and the Knowledge of Tiresias
     Genetic Therapy
     Prenatal Testing and Prenatal Decisions
     Selective Abortion and the Spectrum of Conditions
     Pre-implantation Testing and the Moral Status of the Human Embryo
     Unleashing the Power of the Genetic Revolution: Choice and Control
     Ethical Theory and Genetic Technologies
     Philosophical Reflection on Eugenics

Chapter 7: Abortion and Maternal-Fetal Conflicts
     Landmark Case: Dr. Henry Morgentaler
     Religious and Historical Perspectives
     Legal Perspectives
     Social and Political Perspectives
     Moral Questions and Arguments
     Ethical Theory and Abortion
     Maternal-Fetal Conflicts or the Fetus as Patient
     Philosophical Reflection on Life, Soul, and Body

Chapter 8: Death and Dying
     Landmark Case: Hasan Rasouli
     Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
     Technology and the Meaning of Death
     Killing and Letting Die
     Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
     Medical Futility and Impaired Newborns
     Ethical Theory and Death and Dying
     Philosophical Reflection on Death and Dying

Chapter 9: Organs and Tissues: Procurement and Transplantation
     Case Study: “Transplant Tourism”
     Historical and Philosophical Perspectives
     Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplantation
     Controlling the Demand: Allocation Issues
     Tissues and Genes as Property
     Ethical Theory and Organ Transplantation
     Philosophical Reflection on the Body-Machine

Chapter 10: Medical Paradigms and Non-Standard Treatment
     Landmark Case: Tyrell Dueck
     Concepts of Health and Illness
     A Clash of Paradigms: What Is the Doctor to Do?
     The Normal and the Pathological
     Resisting Normalization
     Ethical Theory and Non-Standard Treatments
     Philosophical Reflection: Morality and Health

Appendix: The Principles of Bioethics and Case Study Analysis Guidelines

Carol Collier

Carol Collier is an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sudbury–Laurentian University.

Bioethics in Canada, Bioethics in Canada, 2nd Edition

Rachel Haliburton

Rachel Haliburton is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sudbury–Laurentian University.

Bioethics in Canada, Bioethics in Canada, 2nd Edition


"Bioethics in Canada does an exceptional job of presenting a balanced perspective on many of the most challenging bioethical challenges facing Canadians today."
Jeremy Snyder, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

"Bioethics in Canada is an extremely accessible introductory textbook—my students find it a pleasure to read. The authors provide a comprehensive overview of the main philosophical debates in bioethics. This is an excellent text that gives students a thorough understanding of the bioethical terrain in a Canadian context."
Meredith Schwartz, Department of Philosophy, Ryerson University

"Collier and Haliburton have done a Herculean task in this exploration of the ways modern medicine and bioethics are shaped by philosophical assumptions, values and social determinants. The subject matter of the chapters and the pedagogical format utilized by the authors provide a marvelous resource for bioethicists, medical and health care professionals, advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and other readers interested in gaining a clearly and well-written understanding of the theory and practice of bioethics in Canada, and internationally, today."
Gregory Walters, Faculty of Philosophy, St. Paul University

Instructor Resources

When you adopt Bioethics in Canada, 2nd Edition, you will have access to a test bank containing multiple choice questions, true or false questions, short answer questions, and discussion questions for each chapter.

See sample

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download