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Medical Ethics and Law: the Core Curriculum
  1. C Cowley

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    T Hope, J Savulescu, J Hendrick. Churchill Livingstone, 2003, £15.99, pp 222. ISBN 0443062552

    This is a slim, user friendly volume designed to introduce medical students and practicing clinicians to some basic issues of medical law and ethics, as well as to the ways in which lawyers and philosophers characteristically think. The book is divided into two parts: the first adumbrates the main ethical theories, some central ethical concepts, the role of law in society, and the English legal system (with the first of many comparative glances at Scotland); the second part comprises chapters about key issues such as “consent”, “reproductive medicine”, and “mental health”.

    This integration of ethics and law into such an accessible and tidy package is the main strength of the book. More weighty tomes have aimed for the same integration (the recent new editions of Montgomery’s and Brazier’s books, for example), but their scholarly density makes them more appropriate for reference than overview. The integration is important because there will always be certain students and practitioners who do not see …

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