Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
486 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2015
Print ISBN: 9781551307237


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.

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


Instructor Resources

See sample

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