Observing Bioethics

Hardcover | August 15, 2008

byRenee C Fox, Judith P Swazey

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Based on original primary and extensive secondary source materials, the book views bioethics as a complex phenomenon that is not only related to advances in modern biology, medicine, and biotechnology, but also to the fundamental values and beliefs and larger moral and existential questionswhich American society has been collectively grappling in its courts, legislatures, and media. Although they center their analysis on U.S. bioethics, the authors also trace the field's international spread, including case studies of bioethics in France and Pakistan - two of the many societies inwhich it has developed. While recognizing the intellectual, moral and sociological importance of American bioethics, they are critical of certain of its characteristics, and concerned about their implications-especially the problems of thinking socially, culturally, and internationally that haveexisted since bioethics' inception; the field's "tenuous interdisciplinarity"; and the extent to which the "culture wars" on the larger American scene have recently penetrated it.

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From the Publisher

Based on original primary and extensive secondary source materials, the book views bioethics as a complex phenomenon that is not only related to advances in modern biology, medicine, and biotechnology, but also to the fundamental values and beliefs and larger moral and existential questionswhich American society has been collectively g...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:August 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195365550

ISBN - 13:9780195365559

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"A powerful and persuasive exploration of the rise of bioethics from a socio-cultural perspective that focuses on its inherent Americanness and culminates in its inevitable but potentially lethal attempted appropriation by American politics. The uniqueness of the book is its primary reliance on the authors' insights as participant-observer ethnographers at salient points in the brief history of American bioethics. Exceptional, insightful, and a delight to read."--George J. Annas, Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health, author of American Bioethics "This is a fine and important book, a much needed contribution to the field of bioethics. It offers the first systematic and sociological analysis of the development of the enterprise of bioethics, offering a critical look at why and how bioethics came to be."--Raymond De Vries, Associate Professor of Bioethics/Medical Education, University of Michigan School of Medicine "Renee Fox and Judith Swazey are at the very top of the list in following and assessing the development of the field of bioethics. This book is full of acute observations, interesting and different perspectives, and offers many challenges to the field. It is a book well worth reading, for those in the field and for those curious about it."--Daniel Callahan, Director, International Program, The Hastings Center "This insightful book adds depth to the literature on the history of bioethics and delivers important and sometimes controversial insights about contemporary bioethics. It provides a much needed look at a field that has grown dramatically in only a few decades but that many see as lacking a definedscope and purpose."--Doody's