Written for health care professionals who want to learn more about ethics but who have not had extensive training in philosophical theory, this unique volume explores what ethics has to offer the practicing physician, nurse, and allied health care worker. The authors introduce the basic vocabulary of ethics and present and discuss the most commonly used ethical theories, using case studies to illustrate how ethics work within the context of health care. Newcomers to the field will learn what ethics is all about and how it relates to the pragmatic concerns of the health care professional. Those who already have a working knowledge of the field will find a new approach to ethical theory--personalism--which the authors believe can make the practical use of ethics more effective and reliable. The authors begin by highlighting some modern issues--such as our growing reliance on technology and the increasing malpractice problem--which have renewed society's interest in ethics. They go on to develop a clear definition of ethics and examine how this discipline relates to the goals of health care. The middle chapters introduce the specialized vocabulary of ethics and discuss some common ethical issues. Two chapters outline various approaches to ethical theory, including one modeled closely after the traditions found in the healing arts. Finally, the authors explore the practical applications of ethics in the clinical setting, offering suggestions to the health care professional facing ethical dilemmas on the job. An appendix discusses the case studies that are found throughout the book.