Underpinnings of Medical Ethics

Johns Hopkins University Press (1997)
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Abstract

Thus far in the development of the discipline of medical ethics, the overriding concern has been with solutions to specific problems. But discussion is hampered by lack of understanding of the scope and methodology of medical ethics, and its scientific and philosophical basis. In Underpinnings of Medical Ethics Edmond A. Murphy, James J. Butzow, and Edward L. Suarez-Murias offer much-needed clarification of the purview, ontological basis, and methodology of a medical ethics that is to be comprehensive and yet readily accepted by all. The authors begin by describing the scope of the analysis and discussing possible ethical systems and paradigms. They then deal with the structures and concepts necessary in the formulation of a coherent philosophy: normality and disease, scientific and juridical law, certainty and certitude, decisions. Finally, they introduce particular human dimensions, such as quality of life, pain, and responsibility. Throughout, case examples illustrate the authors' theoretical framework.

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