We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Principles, Issues, and Cases

Fourth Edition

Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - June 2019

ISBN: 9780190903268

832 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $109.99

The #1 bioethics book on the market, combining a wide variety of current readings and classic and contemporary cases with extensive explanations and more robust pedagogy than any other text


Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases, Fourth Edition, explores the philosophical, medical, social, and legal aspects of key bioethical issues. Opening with a thorough introduction to ethics, bioethics, and moral reasoning, it then covers influential moral theories and the criteria for evaluating them. Integrating eighty-seven readings--ten of them new to this edition--substantive introductions to each issue, numerous classic bioethical cases, and abundant pedagogical tools, this text addresses the most provocative and controversial topics in bioethics.

New to this Edition

  • Expanded discussions and clarifications of feminist ethics, abortion and Judaism, euthanasia, advance directives, informed consent, the issue of race in research, gene therapy, principlism, prima facie principles, and healthcare in various countries
  • Ten new readings provide new perspectives on issues discussed in the text
  • A new section on the moral theory known as principlism (W. D. Ross's perspective) in Chapter 2 explains how people make moral decisions
  • An expanded Ancillary Resource Center offers an Instructor's Test Bank and Student Self-Quizzes that include questions on every reading in the book


  • "Classic Case Files" describe landmark cases that shaped the debate, while news-making "Cases for Evaluation" encourage students to form their own opinions
  • Various text boxes: "In Depth" boxes contain additional material, illustrations, or analyses, much of it "ripped from the headlines"; "Fact File" boxes provide statistics on the social, medical, and scientific facets of a chapter's topic; and "Legal Brief" boxes summarize important court rulings and the status of major legislation
  • "Key Terms" are boldfaced and boxed off within the text and then defined in a glossary at the back of the book
  • "Applying Major Theories" sections at the end of each chapter help students relate theories to the issues

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several textbooks, including The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition (2018), Philosophy Here and Now, Third Edition (2018), Writing Philosophy, Second Edition (2018), and Living Philosophy, Second Edition (2017).


"Vaughn's Bioethics is the best product on the market. It offers an excellent variety of essays on a broad range of topics, provides excellent supplementary information on each of the topics, and does so at a cost about half that of its competitors."--David Paul, Western Michigan University

"When I think of getting bang for the students' bucks, I think of Vaughn's book."--Joseph Farrell, Loyola University Maryland

"I have been very pleased with the student learning that Bioethics has helped facilitate. Students seem to have much better comprehension of this foundational material when using Vaughn's book."--Jennifer R. Hoheisel, Camden County College

Table of Contents

    *=New to this Edition
    Chapter 1. Moral Reasoning in Bioethics
    Ethics and Bioethics
    Ethics and the Moral Life
    In Depth: Morality and the Law
    Moral Principles in Bioethics
    Ethical Relativism
    In Depth: Anthropology and Moral Diversity
    Ethics and Religion
    Moral Arguments
    Argument Fundamentals
    Patterns of Moral Arguments
    Review: Valid and Invalid Argument Forms
    In Depth: Fallacies in Moral Reasoning
    Evaluating Premises
    Assessing Whole Arguments

    Key Terms
    Argument Exercises
    Further Reading
    Chapter 2. Bioethics and Moral Theories
    The Nature of Moral Theories
    Influential Moral Theories
    In Depth: Utilitarianism and the Golden Rule
    Kantian Ethics
    * Principlism
    Natural Law Theory
    Rawls' Contract Theory
    Virtue Ethics
    In Depth: Can Virtue Be Taught?
    The Ethics of Care
    Feminist Ethics
    Criteria for Judging Moral Theories
    Review: Evaluating Moral Theories: Criteria of Adequacy
    Applying the Criteria
    Kant's Theory
    Key Terms
    Further Reading
    "Utilitarianism," John Stuart Mill
    "The Moral Law," Immanuel Kant
    * Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
    * "Caring," Nel Noddings
    * "The Need for More Than Justice," Annette C. Baier
    "Moral Saints," Susan Wolf
    Chapter 3. Paternalism and Patient Autonomy
    Shades of Autonomy and Paternalism
    Refusing Treatment
    In Depth: The Hippocratic Oath
    In Depth: Physician Autonomy

    * Legal Brief: Advance Directives
    Futile Treatment
    Legal Brief: Refusing Treatment for Children on Religious Grounds
    In Depth: CPR and DNR
    In Depth: Moral Conflicts in Nursing

    Classic Case File: Elizabeth Bouvia
    Applying Major Theories
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "Paternalism," Gerald Dworkin
    "The Refutation of Medical Paternalism," Alan Goldman
    "Why Doctors Should Intervene," Terrence F. Ackerman
    "Autonomy, Futility, and the Limits of Medicine," Robert L. Schwartz
    * "Four Models of the Physician-Patient Relationship," Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Linda L. Emanuel
    "Patient Autonomy and Physician Responsibility," Commentaries by Patrick C. Beeman and Ryan C. VanWoerkom
    * "Confronting Death: Who Chooses, Who Controls? "A Dialogue Between Dax Cowart And Robert Burt
    Bouvia v. Superior Court,
    California Court of Appeal
    "Fundamental Elements of the Patient-Physician Relationship," AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
    "Advocacy or Subservience for the Sake of Patients?" Helga Kuhse
    * "Paternalism Revisited," Harriet Hall
    Chapter 4. Truth-Telling and Confidentiality
    Paternalism and Deception
    In Depth: Do Patients Want the Truth? Do Physicians Tell It?
    Confidential Truths
    Legal Brief: Confidentiality and a Duty to Warn
    In Depth: Truth-Telling and Cultural Diversity

    Classic Case File: Carlos R.
    Applying Major Theories
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "Telling the Truth to Patients: A Clinical Ethics Exploration," David C. Thomasma
    "On Telling Patients the Truth," Mack Lipkin
    "Is It Ever OK to Lie to Patients?," Shelly K. Schwartz
    "Respect for Patients, Physicians, and the Truth," Susan Cullen and Margaret Klein
    "Why Privacy Is Important," James Rachels
    "Confidentiality in Medicine--A Decrepit Concept," Mark Siegler
    "Ethical Relativism in a Multicultural Society," Ruth Macklin
    Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California, Supreme Court of California
    Chapter 5. Informed Consent
    Autonomy and Consent
    Conditions of Informed Consent
    In Depth: Decision-Making Capacity
    In Depth: Two Views of Informed Consent
    Legal Brief: Important Informed Consent Cases

    Applying Major Theories
    Classic Case File: Jerry Canterbury
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "The Concept of Informed Consent," Ruth R. Faden and Tom L. Beauchamp
    "Informed Consent--Must It Remain a Fairy Tale?" Jay Katz
    "Transparency: Informed Consent in Primary Care," Howard Brody
    "Informed Consent: Some Challenges to the Universal Validity of the Western Model," Robert J. Levine
    Canterbury v. Spence, United States Court of Appeals
    CHAPTER 6. Human Research
    The Science of Clinical Trials
    In Depth: The Tuskegee Tragedy
    Beneficence, Science, and Placebos
    Science and Informed Consent
    In Depth: Women in Clinical Trials
    Research on the Vulnerable
    In Depth: Why Enter a Clinical Trial?
    Applying Major Theories
    Key Terms
    Classic Case File: The UCLA Schizophrenia Study
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    The Nuremberg Code
    Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects
    , World Medical Association
    "The Belmont Report," The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research
    "Final Report: Human Radiation Experiments," Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments
    "Of Mice but Not Men: Problems of the Randomized Clinical Trial," Samuel Hellman and Deborah S. Hellman
    "A Response to a Purported Ethical Difficulty with Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Cancer Patients," Benjamin Freedman
    "Racism and Research: The Case of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study," Allan M. Brandt
    * "Is It Time to Stop Using Race in Medical Research?" Angus Chen
    "The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World," Marcia Angell
    "Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials in Developing Countries," Baruch Brody
    Chapter 7.
    Starting Point: The Basics
    Fact File: U.S. Abortions
    In Depth: Abortion and Public Opinion 2017
    The Legal Struggle
    In Depth: Late-Term Abortion
    Persons and Rights
    In Depth: Does a Fetus Feel Pain?
    Applying Major Theories
    Key Terms
    Classic Case File: Nancy Klein
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "A Defense of Abortion," Judith Jarvis Thomson
    "Why Abortion Is Immoral," Don Marquis
    "An Almost Absolute Value in History," John T. Noonan, Jr.
    "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion," Mary Anne Warren
    "Virtue Theory and Abortion," Rosalind Hursthouse
    "Abortion and the Concept of a Person," Jane English
    "Abortion," Margaret Olivia Little
    "Abortion Through a Feminist Ethics Lens," Susan Sherwin
    Roe v. Wade, United States Supreme Court
    Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, United States Supreme Court
    Chapter 8. Reproductive Technology
    In Vitro Fertilization
    Fact File: Assisted Reproduction
    In Depth: IVF and Children's Future Children
    In Depth: Cloning Time Line
    Applying Major Theories
    In Depth: Sherri Shepherd: How Surrogacy Can Go Wrong
    Key Terms
    Classic Case File: Baby M
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "IVF: The Simple Case," Peter Singer
    "IVF and Women's Interests: An Analysis of Feminist Concerns," Mary Anne Warren
    "'Give Me Children or I Shall Die!' New Reproductive Technologies and Harm to Children," Cynthia B. Cohen
    "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation," Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    "The Presumptive Primacy of Procreative Liberty," John A. Robertson
    "Surrogate Mothering: Exploitation or Empowerment?" Laura M. Purdy
    "Is Women's Labor a Commodity?" Elizabeth S. Anderson
    "Egg Donation and Commodification," Bonnie Steinbock
    "The Wisdom of Repugnance," Leon R. Kass
    "Cloning Human Beings: An Assessment of the Ethical Issues Pro and Con," Dan W. Brock
    CHAPTER 9. Genetic Choices
    Genes and Genomes
    Genetic Testing
    In Depth: Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests
    Gene Therapy
    Fact File: Available Genetic Tests for Cancer Risk
    Fact File: Recent Research in Gene Therapy
    Stem Cells
    Applying Major Theories
    Classic Case File: The Kingsburys
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "Implications of Prenatal Diagnosis for the Human Right to Life," Leon R. Kass
    "Genetics and Reproductive Risk: Can Having Children Be Immoral?" Laura M. Purdy
    "The Morality of Screening for Disability," Jeff McMahan
    "Genetic Dilemmas and the Child's Right to an Open Future," Dena S. Davis
    "Disowning Knowledge: Issues in Genetic Testing," Robert Wachbroit
    "The Non-Identity Problem and Genetic Harms--The Case of Wrongful Handicaps," Dan W. Brock
    "Is Gene Therapy
    a Form of Eugenics?" John Harris
    "Genetic Enhancement," Walter Glannon
    "Genetic Interventions and the Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings," Julian Savulescu
    "Germ-Line Gene Therapy," LeRoy Walters and Julie Gage Palmer
    "What Does 'Respect for Embryos' Mean in the Context of Stem Cell Research?" Bonnie Steinbock
    Declaration on the Production and the Scientific and Therapeutic Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Pontifical Academy for Life
    Chapter 10. Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
    Deciding Life and Death
    Legal Brief: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Major Developments
    In Depth: Assisted Suicide: What Do Doctors Think?
    Autonomy, Mercy, and Harm
    In Depth: Oregon's Death With Dignity Act
    * In Depth: End-Of-Life
    Decisions in the Netherlands
    Applying Major Theories
    In Depth: Physician-Assisted Suicide and Public Opinion
    Classic Case File: Nancy Cruzan
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "Death and Dignity: A Case of Individualized Decision Making," Timothy E. Quill
    "Voluntary Active Euthanasia," Dan W. Brock
    "When Self-Determination Runs Amok," Daniel Callahan
    "Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Tragic View," John D. Arras
    "Active and Passive Euthanasia," James Rachels
    "Dying at the Right Time: Reflections on (Un)Assisted Suicide," John Hardwig
    "The Philosophers' Brief," Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Thomas Scanlon, and Judith Jarvis Thomson
    "Legalizing Assisted Dying Is Dangerous for Disabled People," Liz Carr
    * "For Now Have I My Death'': The 'Duty to Die' Versus the Duty to Help the Issue Stay Alive," Felicia Ackerman
    Vacco v. Quill, United States Supreme Court
    Chapter 11. Dividing up Health Care Resources
    Health Care in Trouble
    In Depth: Unequal Health Care for Minorities
    Fact File: U.S. Health Care
    Theories of Justice
    * In Depth: Comparing Health Care Systems: United States, Canada, and Germany
    * Fact File: Poll: The Public's Views on the ACA ("Obamacare")
    A Right to Health Care
    In Depth: Public Health and Bioethics
    The Ethics of Rationing
    Classic Case File: Christine deMeurers
    Key Terms

    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    "Is There a Right to Health Care and, if So, What Does It Encompass?" Norman Daniels
    "The Right to a Decent Minimum of Health Care," Allen E. Buchanan
    "Rights to Health Care, Social Justice, and Fairness in Health Care Allocations: Frustrations in the Face of Finitude," H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr.
    * "Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care," Eric C. Schneider, Dana O. Sarnak, David Squires, et al.
    "Public Health Ethics: Mapping the Terrain," James F. Childress et al.
    "Human Rights Approach to Public Health Policy," D. Tarantola and S. Gruskin

Related Titles