A Short History of Medical Ethics

A Short History of Medical Ethics

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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 die constantly refers to the ethical duties of the 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 culture. It sets this story in the social and cultural contexts in which the work of healing was practised and suggest that, behing 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 through 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 15.24mm | 204.12g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 019536984X
  • 9780195369847
  • 900,781

Review quote

"This historical analysis highlights ways in which the reflections on the role of character, moral obligations, and the relationship between the individual and the community (which stimulates contemporary bioethics) have a history that reaches deep into the past and across cultural boundaries...An important resource for a discipline just beginning to discover its historical roots."--Choice"Albert Jonsen, a distiguished theoretician and practitioner of bioethics, has written what is essentially a prehisotry of the field...A Short History of Medical Ethics is a scholarly prologue to the evolving world of contemporary bioethics...Not surprisingly, A Short History of Medical Ethics is at least as useful for what it tells us about earlier societies as it is for what it tells us about bioethics."--New England Journal of Medicine"This historical analysis highlights ways in which the reflections on the role of character, moral obligations, and the relationship between the individual and the community (which stimulates contemporary bioethics) have a history that reaches deep into the past and across cultural boundaries...An important resource for a discipline just beginning to discover its historical roots."--Choice"As Jonsen shows, the history of medical ethics is not short, despite the title of his book. In about one hundred and twenty pages he tells the story of over two thousand years of moral discourse about medicine, covering traditions in both the East and West. Jonsen's tour through time and cultures highlights particular events and persons, and shows that even though there are some cultural differences, common themes coalesce in a long tradition of the ethics of medicine."--Philosophy in Reviewshow more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION: THE LONG TRADITION OF ETHICS IN MEDICINEshow more

Rating details

11 ratings
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3 18% (2)
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1 0% (0)
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