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Short History of Medical Ethics

ISBN-10: 019536984X
ISBN-13: 9780195369847
Edition: 2008
Authors: Albert R. Jonsen
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Description: A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 176
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

A physician says, "I have an ethical obligation never to cause the death of a patient," another responds, "My ethical obligation is to relieve pain even if the patient dies." The current argument over the role of physicians in assisting patients to die constantly refers to the ethical duties of hte profession. References to the Hippocratic Oath are often heard. Many modern problems, from assisted suicide to accessible health care, raise questions about the traditional ethics of medicine and the medical profession. However, few know what the traditional ethics are and how they came into being. This book provides a brief tour of the complex story of medical ethics evolved over centuries in both Western and Eastern cultures. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practiced and suggests that, behind the many different perceptions about the ethical duties of physicians, certain themes appear constantly, and may be relevant to modern debates. The book begins with the Hippocratic Medicine of ancient Greece, moves throught the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment in Europe, and the long history of Indian and Chinese medicine, ending as the problems raised modern medical science and technology challenge the settled ethics of the long tradition.

Introduction: The Long Tradition of Ethics in Medicine
Hellenic, Hellenistic, and Roman Medicine: Fifth Century BCE to Third Century CE
Medieval Medicine: Fifth to Fourteenth Centuries CE
Medical Ethics of India and China
Renaissance and Enlightenment: Fourteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
British Medicine: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Ethics in American Medicine
American Medicine: Science, Competence, and Ethics
A Chronicle of Ethical Events: 1940s to 1980s
Conclusion: From Medical Ethics to Bioethics
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