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

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 19 Sep 2013
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. This comprehensive history tracks the evolution of American medical ethics over four centuries, from colonial midwives and physicians' oaths to medical society codes, through the bioethics revolution. Applying the concept of morally disruptive technologies, it analyzes the impact of the stethoscope on conceptions of fetal life and the criminalization 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 the American 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 by exploring 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 disruptive technologies.

To access the companion website for Before Bioethics: A History of American Medical Ethics from the Colonial Period to the Bioethics Revolution, please visit: http: //

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ISBN-13: 9780199774111
ISBN-10: 0199774110
Pagini: 496
Dimensiuni: 163 x 244 x 40 mm
Greutate: 0.78 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


An immensely helpful survey . . . This is Bakers magnum opus and it will surely become and remain a standard reference.
Since becoming a bioethicist, he [Robert Baker] has fulfilled the promise of this interdisciplinary field. Both here and elsewhere he has made a significant contribution to the history of medical ethics
This book is a scholarly masterpiece, providing a balanced perspective on the history of medical ethics and morals supported by credible and well incorporated research.

Notă biografică

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 Bioethics and Humanities. He has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited numerous scholarly articles, reports and books, includingthe American Medical Ethics Revolution and The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics. Both books were awarded a citation by Choice, the journal of academic libraries, as an "outstanding book in the health sciences " for their respective years. Baker also co-authored a 2008 report on AfricanAmerican physicians and organized medicine that prompted the board of the AMA to apologize publicly for its past treatment of African American physicians.