Bioethics in a Liberal Society

Bioethics in a Liberal Society

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We live in a liberal, democratic, multicultural society where ideally the values of personal liberty and autonomy are paramount. In such a society the state, through the law, should not be concerned with telling people how they should live their lives. In spite of this, many of the ethical stances taken in liberal societies are paternalistic and authoritarian. This readable and balanced book is an original discussion of contemporary issues in bioethics. Max Charlesworth argues that as there can be no public consensus on a set of core values - liberal societies accept a variety of religious, non-religious, political and moral stances - there should be a plurality of ethical stances as well. On this basis he discusses issues such as the ending of human life, the new reproductive technologies and ethical distribution of limited health-care resources, particularly hospital care.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139238450
  • 9781139238458

Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Autonomy and the liberal ideal; 3. Ending life; 4. Beginning life; 5. Disturbing health resources; 6. Consensus in a liberal society.
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Review quote

"This book fits nicely into contemporary works that focus on ethical issues in health care, biotechnology, and medicine. What sets this one off is that its topics are discussed in the context of the current social and political context. This enhances its topical nature and provides the reader with an appropriate frame of reference." Choice "...a lucid and instructive analysis of the concept of autonomy in medical ethics and health care. He unabashedly tackles three controversial areas: decisions at the end of life and assisted suicide, medically assisted reproduction, and the allocation of health care resources." Bruce Jennings, New England Journal of Medicine
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