Ethics in Medicine: Virtue, Vice and Medicine

Front Cover
Polity, 2006 - Health & Fitness - 232 pages
How, in a secular world, should we resolve ethically controversial and troubling issues relating to health care? Should we, as some argue, make a clean sweep, getting rid of the Hippocratic ethic, such vestiges of it as remain? Jennifer Jackson seeks to answer these significant questions, establishing new foundations for a traditional and secular ethic which would not require a radical and problematic overhaul of the old.

These new foundations rest on familiar observations of human nature and human needs. Jackson presents morality as a loose anatomy of constituent virtues that are related in different ways to how we fare in life, and suggests that in order to address problems in medical ethics, a virtues-based approach is needed. Throughout, attention is paid to the role of philosophy in medical ethics, and how it can be used to clarify key notions and distinctions that underlie current debates and controversial issues. By reinstating such concepts as justice, cardinal virtue, and moral duty, Jackson lays the groundwork for an ethics of health care that makes headway toward resolving seeming dilemmas in medical ethics today.

This penetrating and accessible book will be invaluable to students of sociology and health care, as well as those who are interested in the ethical uncertainties faced by the medical world.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Virtues and Vices
9
Justice A Problematic Virtue?
16
Benevolence A Problematic Virtue?
27
Benevolence The Only Virtue?
32
The Dictates of Conscience
42
The Duties to Obtain Consent Give Information and Respect Autonomy
56
First Do No Harm
74
Abortion
116
Suicide Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
133
Killing and Letting Die
149
Patients Deaths and Doctors Decisions
162
Moral Issues in Reproductive Medicine
170
The Old and the New
188
Notes
205
Bibliography
221

Duties to Give and Rights to Get Health Care
92
Distributive Justice in Health Care
102

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About the author (2006)

Jennifer Jackson is Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy, University of Leeds.

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