Publisher description for Bioethics in a liberal society / Max Charlesworth.


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Counter Ethical issues in health care, medicine and biotechnology are often discussed in the abstract, without reference to the social or political context from which they arise. We live in a liberal, democratic, multicultural society where ideally the values of personal liberty and autonomy are paramount. In such a society the state, through the law, should live their lives. In spite of this, many of the ethical stances taken in liberal societies are paternalistic and authoritarian. This readable and balanced book is an original discussion of contemporary issues in bioethics. Max Charlesworth argues that as there can be no public consensus on a set of core values - liberal societies accept a variety of religious, non-religious, political and moral stances - there should be a plurality of ethical stances as well. On this basis he discusses issues such as: the ending of human life: suicide, the 'right to die', euthanasia; new reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation and alternative ways of reproduction such as surrogacy; and ethical questions concerned with the distribution of limited health-care resources, particularly hospital care. This discussion of crucial bioethical issues will be read by people in all areas where medical ethics are considered - nursing, medicine, health administration, sociology, philosophy and religious studies - as well as by general readers interested in some of the most compelling ethical questions of our time.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Medical ethics, Bioethics, Ethics, Medical