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Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Beauchamp)) Paperback – 15 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; 6 edition (15 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195335708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195335705
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 2.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

The new sixth edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics is a welcome event. There is nothing else like it in the field of bioethics. It has easily become over the years the most used, most praised, and most distinguished book in the field. Each edition moves beyond the previous ones in important and nuanced ways. Beauchamp and Childress keep up with the ever-changing terrain of bioethics, and work hard to refine their own arguments. It gets better and better. One can hardly ask for more. (Daniel Callahan, Director, International Program, The Hastings Center)

What is by far the best general book on bioethics has gotten even better. The new material on international justice and virtue ethics is especially valuable. Such a combination of accessibility and rigor is rarely attained. (Allen Buchanan, James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and James B. Duke Professor of Public Policy Studies, Duke University)

This sixth edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics reaffirms its undisputed stature as a canonical text for the world's bioethicists. It maintains a standard of scholarship and clarity appealing to neophytes and seasoned scholars, to adherents and critics of its principled approach. It culls the new and the old with precision and adds a new chapter on moral status. Anyone hoping to stay current with the continuing evolution of bioethics must read this update. (Edmund D. Pellegrino, Chairman, President's Council on Bioethics)

The contemporary field of bioethics is unimaginable, absent this text. Principles of Biomedical Ethics provided a paradigmatic approach that shaped the early character of bioethics. It continues to be a source of serious debate regarding the nature of morality and the significance of bioethics. No one can understand the field of bioethics apart from this volume. (H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., M.D., Professor, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine)

Principles of Biomedical Ethics has, over six successive editions, clarified and expanded the concepts, definitions, and arguments that make bioethics a discipline instead of random shards of opinion, sometimes astute, sometimes silly, that pass in the media for ethical commentary on medicine and science. This book is the thesaurus of bioethical discourse. (Albert R. Jonsen, Professor Emeritus, Department of Medical History and Ethics, University of Washington)

The sixth edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics, which more than any other book has helped to shape the field of biomedical ethics, is even better than the previous five editions. Beauchamp and Childress continue to listen to their critics, of whom I am one, and to change their book accordingly. Although I still have some problems with the theory of principlism, I have nothing but admiration for their comprehensive and detailed discussion of the moral problems that arise in the field of medicine. I plan to use this edition, as I have used previous editions, as one of the primary texts in my course in Philosophy of Medicine. (Bernard Gert, Stone Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Dartmouth College)

Every new edition of this classic gets better and better. This is essential reading for all students and scholars of bioethics. (Bernard Lo, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director, Program in Medical Ethics, University of California, San Francisco)

Principles of Biomedical Ethics is, and continues to be, a tremendous contribution to the bioethics literature. Whether one agrees or disagrees with [the authors'] approach, it is unquestionable that theirs is the predominant means of addressing ethical dilemmas in healthcare in the United States today. (Deborah Barnbaum, Kent State University)

Principles of Biomedical Ethics has the deserved status of a classic in its field. The authors are excellent role models of ethical reasoning for students to emulate. (Craig Duncan, Ithaca College)

The overall quality of Principles of Biomedical Ethics is outstanding. From it, a careful and interested reader can come away with a thorough, in-depth, and consistent understanding of bioethics. The major strength of the book is its firm grounding in theory. In this respect, it stands head and shoulders above any of its competitors. (Robert Rothman, Rochester Institute of Technology)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 25 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tom Beauchamp, of Georgetown University, and James Childress, of the University of Virginia, have produced a splendid sixth edition of their classic book on biomedical ethics. Throughout, the authors sensitively discuss real life dilemmas.

Part 1 looks at moral foundations: moral norms, moral character and moral status. Part 2 studies what the authors define as the four key moral principles, general norms of our common morality: respect for autonomy, doing no harm, beneficence and justice. Part 3 examines moral theories and moral justification.

They argue that there is not just one supreme moral value, a single absolute yardstick to solve every ethical problem. They write, "The problems of bioethics are often problems of getting just the right specification or balance of principles. Principles should never be conceived as trumps that allow them alone to determine a right outcome. ... rights, like all principles and rules of obligation, are prima facie (i.e., presumptively) valid claims that sometimes must yield to other claims."

To aid our moral deliberation and decision-making, we need to consider our actions or inactions in regard to dilemmas in the light of each of the principles. "Principles need to be made specific for cases, and case analysis needs illumination from general principles." Putting the four principles of bioethics into practice results in moral behaviour.

The authors argue that respect for autonomy is not necessarily individualistic, rationalist or legalistic. With beneficence, we must take responsibility for our community, competently, compassionately and cooperatively.

The authors argue that justice entails that governments fund health care, as our collective social protection against threats to health.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kath1968 on 13 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
Beauchamp & Childress' four principles are the mainstay of biomedical ethical decision-making, so for anyone starting out in the field of biomedical ethics, this book is essential - but only because there is a significant majority of other papers, publications and clinical ethics committees which use these four principles as the basis for ethical decision-making. Personally, I find it very hard going. The subject matter isn't difficult, and the book is quite basic - it's just the principlist approach which doesn't do it for me. The chapter on beneficence concentrates almost exclusively on paternalism but fails to address what happens when paternalism goes too far - Bristol, Alder Hay, Shipman etc, and I'm sure there are similar cases in the USA. Autonomy, whilst they strenuously deny that any principle should rise above any other, is the be-all and end-all.

I don't like this book, I can't read it and it irritates me every time I have to use it for reference. Buy it because you have to if you're doing any kind of course in biomedical ethics; don't buy it for enlightenment - try Singer or O'Neill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bernie on 2 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Most of what you would want to know about biomedical ethics. Good division into chapters. Excellent references. Reasonably easy to read. Lots of practical examples
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By kathyg on 2 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent quality good value for money great for my study in theology as it has a great chapter on casuistry
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By Marian Archer on 25 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed book and very useful with my ethics assignment
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