A Handbook of Bioethics Terms

A Handbook of Bioethics Terms

A Handbook of Bioethics Terms

A Handbook of Bioethics Terms

Synopsis

The term bioethics was first used in the early 1970s by biologists who were concerned about ethical implications of genetic and ecological interventions, but was soon applied to all aspects of biomedical ethics, including health care delivery, research, and public policy. Its literature draws from disciplines as varied as clinical medicine and nursing, scientific research, theology and philosophy, law, and the social sciences -- each with its own distinctive vocabulary and expressions.

A Handbook of Bioethics Terms is a handy and concise glossary-style reference featuring over 400 entries on the significant terms, expressions, titles, and court cases that are most important to the field. Most entries are cross-referenced, making this handbook a valuable addition to the bookshelves of undergraduate and graduate students in health care ethics, physicians and nurses, members of institutional ethics committees and review boards, and others interested in bioethics.

A sampling of terms from the handbook: AbortionDNR (Do Not Resuscitate)Eugenics Gene therapy Living will Natural lawPrimum non nocere Single-payer systemSurrogate consent Schiavo case

Sample Definitions:

Formalism : In ethical theory, a type of deontology in which an action is judged to be right if it is in accord with a moral rule, and wrong if it violates a moral rule.

Xenograft : Organ or tissue transplanted from one individual to another individual of another species. (See Transplantation, organ and tissue)

Excerpt

For many centuries physicians have reflected upon the moral virtues and obligations of their profession, and philosophers and theologians have analyzed, debated, and opined about particular moral dilemmas and choices in health care such as abortion, mutilation of the body for therapeutic purposes, and acceptance or rejection of life-prolonging treatment. Thus, it might be fair to say that the modern discipline of reflection upon ethical aspects of biomedicine began as a subset or focused application of those disciplines. Yet the contemporary discipline of bioethics began to emerge in the 1960s as a broader, more interdisciplinary phenomenon, built upon dialogue not simply among physicians, theologians, and philosophers but including other health professionals, natural scientists, social scientists, legal scholars, and policymakers.

The term “bioethics” was first used in the early 1970s by biologists who were concerned about ethical implications of genetic and ecological interventions, but it was soon applied to all aspects of “biomedical ethics,” including health care delivery, research, and public policy. From its modern beginnings, then, the discipline of bioethics has been focused on knowledge and ethical reflection from multiple disciplinary vantage points, recognizing the value of ethical wisdom from varied perspectives as well as the commonality of many issues and dilemmas we face. in his introduction to the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics (New York: MacMillan, 1995), editor in chief Warren T. Reich defines bioethics as “the systematic study of the moral dimensions— including moral vision, decisions, conduct, and policies—of . . .

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