Social Science Perspectives on Medical Ethics

Social Science Perspectives on Medical Ethics

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Medical or hio- ethics has in recent years been a growth industry. Journals, Centers and Associations devoted to the subject proliferate. Medical schools seem increasingly to be filling rare positions in the humanities and social sciences with ethicists. Hardly a day passes without some media scrutiny of one or another ethical dilemma resulting from our new-found ability to transform the natural conditions of life. Although bioethics is a self-consciously interdisciplinary field, it has not attracted the collaboration of many social scientists. In fact, social scientists who specialize in the study of medicine have in many cases watched its development with a certain ambivalence. No one disputes the significance and often the painfulness of the issues and choices being addressed. But there is something about the way these issues are usually handled which seems somehow inappropri- ate if not wrong-headed to one trained in a discipline like sociology or history. In their analyses of complex situations, ethicists often appear grandly oblivious to the social and cultural context in which these occur, and indeed to empirical referents of any sort. Nor do they seem very conscious of the cultural specificity of many of the values and procedures they utilize when making ethical judg- ments. The unease felt by many in the social sciences was given articulate expression in a paper by Renee Fox and Judith Swazey which appeared in 1984.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 298 pages
  • 160.02 x 241.3 x 22.86mm | 635.03g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1990 ed.
  • XII, 298 p.
  • 0792305663
  • 9780792305668

Table of contents

I: Clinical Encounters of the Ethical Kind.- Clinical Trials and the Collective Ethic: The Case of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.- Biomedical Rituals and Informed Consent: Native Canadians and the Negotiation of Clinical Trust.- Moral Conflicts in a Psychiatric Hospital Treating Combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (ptsd).- Institutional Factors Affecting Psychiatric Admission and Commitment Decisions.- II: Ethics in the Public Arena.- Reaching Consensus About Death: Heart Transplants and Cultural Identity in Japan.- Ethics, Politics and Contraception: Canada and the Licensing of Depo-Provera.- III: The Institutions and Ideology of Medical Ethics.- The Origins of Medical Ethics in France: The International Congress of Morale Medicale of 1955.- The British General Medical Council and Medical Ethics.- Human Experimentation and the Origins of Bioethics in the United States.- The Evolution of American Bioethics: A Sociological Perspective.- IV: Medical Ethics and Social Science.- Medical Anthropology and the Comparative Study of Medical Ethics.- Morality and the Social Sciences.- Ethics and Ethnography in Neonatal Intensive Care.- Bibliography I / Book-length Works Reflecting or Relevant to Social Science Perspectives on Medical Ethics.- Bibliography II / Selected List of Book-length Works on or Basic to Medical Ethics.- Author/Name Index.
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