Before Bioethics: A History of American Medical Ethics from the Colonial Period to the Bioethics…

Hardcover | September 12, 2013

byRobert Baker

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Before Bioethics narrates the history of American medical ethics from its colonial origins to current bioethical controversies over abortion, AIDS, animal rights, and physician-assisted suicide. The first history of American medical ethics published in more than a half century, BeforeBioethics tracks the evolution of American medical ethics from colonial midwives and physicians' oaths, to medical society codes and bioethical principles. Applying the concept of "morally disruptive technologies," it analyzes the impact of the stethoscope on conceptions of fetal life and thecriminalization of abortion, and the impact of the ventilator on our conception of death and the treatment of the dying. The narrative offers tales of those whose lives were affected by the medical ethics of their era: unwed mothers executed by puritans because midwives found them with stillborn babies; the unlikely trio - an Irishman, a Sephardic Jew and in-the-closet gay public health reformer - who drafted theAmerican Medical Association's code of ethics but received no credit for their achievement, and the founder of American gynecology celebrated during his own era but condemned today because he perfected his surgical procedures on un-anesthetized African American slave women. The book concludes byexploring the reasons underlying American society's empowerment of a hodgepodge of ex-theologians, humanist clinicians and researchers, lawyers and philosophers - the bioethicists - as authorities able to address research ethics scandals and the ethical problems generated by morally disruptivetechnologies.

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Before Bioethics narrates the history of American medical ethics from its colonial origins to current bioethical controversies over abortion, AIDS, animal rights, and physician-assisted suicide. The first history of American medical ethics published in more than a half century, BeforeBioethics tracks the evolution of American medical e...

Robert Baker is William D. Williams Professor of Philosophy at Union College and Director of the Union Graduate College-Mount Sinai School of Medicine Bioethics Program. A four-time National Endowment for the Humanities awardee, Baker is founding chair of the Affinity Group on the History of Medical Ethics of the American Society for B...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:September 12, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199774110

ISBN - 13:9780199774111

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Table of Contents

Preface1. Introduction: On Medical Ethics and Morality2. Midwives' Oaths of Fidelity and Diligence3. A Medical Ethics of Fidelity, Chastity and Gentlemanly Honor4. The Lecturers: Samuel Bard and Benjamin Rush5. Codes of Medical Police and Ethics, 1806-18466. A National Code of Medical Ethics, 18477. Professional Medical Ethics 1848-1875: Abortion, Inquisition and Exclusion8. The Anti-Code Revolt: Laissez Medical Faire Ethics, 1876-19799. Medical Ethics and the Research Imperative: 1800-194610. Explaining The Birth of Bioethics, 1947-1999