J Med Ethics 29:e3 doi:10.1136/jme.29.4.e3
  • Electronic pages

Healthcare Ethics and Human Values: an Introductory Text with Readings and Case Studies

Edited by K W M (Bill) Fulford, D L Dickenson, T H Murray. Blackwell Publishers, 2002, £65.00 (hb), £17.99 (pb), pp xvi+496. ISBN 0–631–20224–2

  1. T Takala

      Healthcare Ethics and Human Values is an impressive collection of ninety four short literary works. The editorial idea behind the volume is to show the diversity of values in bioethics rather than to provide a theoretically coherent whole. The book is intended to complement, or to counterpoint, the growing legalism in bioethics. According to the editors, contemporary quasilegal (bio)ethics relies on substantive ethical theories and aims at regulation in the light of particular values, while genuine “healthcare ethics” would utilise analytical ethical theory and celebrate partnership as an ideal in order to respect diverse values. “Healthcare ethics” is the editors’ answer to quasilegal bioethics. The main difference is the starting point—the diversity of values. The collected articles are there to show how shared values are an exception rather than the rule. The other differences can be found in the emphasis on ethics as a process (rather than a set of rules); communication as a substantive skill (rather than a means of execution); the clinical encounter as a whole (rather than just treatment); facts and diverse values (rather than facts and particular values), and partnership (rather than regulation).

      The book starts with a general introduction …

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