J Med Ethics 29:e6 doi:10.1136/jme.29.4.e6
  • Electronic pages

Methods in Medical Ethics

Edited by J Sugarman and D P Sulmasy. Georgetown University Press, 2001, US$ 39.95, pp 314. ISBN 0–87840–873–8

The editors of this book set out to provide an overview of the various disciplines and methods of inquiry that contribute to medical ethics. The question “what is medical ethics?” is an important and topical one, especially in countries such as the UK where medical ethics has become established as a subject of academic inquiry relatively recently compared to the United States. Sugarman and Sulmasy argue that medical ethics is a single field of inquiry which is shared by several disciplines, each of which bring their own disciplinary methods to the subject of the normative aspects of health care. The first chapter is used to explain this definition of medical ethics and to consider the interplay between normative and descriptive (or empirical) …

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