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Principles, Issues, and Cases

Fifth Edition

Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - 22 June 2022

ISBN: 9780197609026

784 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

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


Bioethics: Principles, Issues, and Cases 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-nine readings, numerous classic bioethical cases, and abundant pedagogical tools, this text addresses the most provocative and controversial topics in bioethics.

New to this Edition

  • A Chapter on Pandemic Ethics
  • A Chapter on Race, Racial Bias, and Health Care
  • Updates include: Abortion and public opinion (survey); "Savior siblings;" New developments in gene therapy; Euthanasia and assisted suicide--major developments; U.S. Health Care--the uninsured, per capita spending, and health care quality
  • New readings, including ones from Michael Sandel with Colleen Walsh, Angela Ballantyne, David R. Williams and Ronald Wyatt, Michael Root, and Ezekiel J. Emmanuel, Govind Persad, Ross Upshur, et. al.


  • A two-chapter introduction to bioethics, moral reasoning, moral theories, and critical thinking
  • Each chapter contains: analyses of the most important arguments, a section titled "Applying Major Theories," a section titled "Classic Case File," and a bank of "Cases for Evaluation"
  • A diverse package of pedagogical aids

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Philosophy: Here and Now, Fourth Edition (2022), The Power of Critical Thinking, Seventh Edition (2021), and Living Philosophy, Third Edition (2021), all published by Oxford University Press.


"Extremely well done for both undergraduate and graduate introduction to medical ethics courses. This text is comprehensive in its treatment of the issues I cover in my semester-length course on medical ethics."--John Thomas Meadors, Mississippi College

"I found the book to be fairly comprehensive; there is simply more to choose from in this book. It is up to date and the inclusion of stats and figures are still current and relevant."--Kristemn Kringle-Bear, University of North Caroline Wilmington

Table of Contents



    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
    Obstacles to Critical Reasoning
    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
    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
    “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: 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
    “Confronting Death: Who Chooses, Who Controls? A Dialogue Between Dax
    Cowart and Robert Burt,” 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

    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
    “On Telling Patients the Truth,” Mack Lipkin
    “Is It Ever OK to Lie to Patients?,” Shelly K. Schwartz
    “Why Privacy Is Important,” James Rachels
    “Confidentiality in Medicine-A Decrepit Concept,” Mark Siegler
    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
    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
    “The Ethics of Clinical Research in the Third World,” Marcia Angell
    “Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials in Developing Countries,” Baruch Brody


    Chapter 7: Abortion
    Starting Point: The Basics
    Fact File: U.S. Abortions
    In Depth: Abortion and Public Opinion
    The Legal Struggle
    In Depth: Abortions Performed Later in Pregnancy
    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
    “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” Mary Anne Warren
    “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: “Savior Siblings”
    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
    “The Presumptive Primacy of Procreative Liberty,” John A. Robertson
    “Surrogate Mothering: Exploitation or Empowerment?” Laura M. Purdy
    “Egg Donation and Commodification,” Bonnie Steinbock
    “Cloning Human Beings: An Assessment of the Ethical Issues Pro
    and Con,” Dan W. Brock

    Chapter 9: Genetic Choices
    Genes and Genomes
    Genetic Testing
    Gene Therapy
    Fact File: Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk
    Fact File: New Developments in Gene Therapy
    Stem Cells
    Applying Major Theories
    Classic Case File: The Kingsburys
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    “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
    “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 Ill Stay Alive,” Felicia Ackerman
    Vacco v. Quill, United States Supreme Court


    Chapter 11: Dividing Up Health Care Resources
    Health Care in Trouble
    Fact File: U.S. Health Care
    Theories of Justice
    In Depth: Comparing Health Care Systems: United States,
    Canada, and Germany
    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

    Chapter 12: Pandemic Ethics
    Pandemic Facts
    When Resources Are Scarce
    Personal Choices
    In Depth: The Privilege of Social Distancing
    Covid Falsehoods
    In Depth: Against Pandemic Falsehoods
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    “Why Some Americans Refuse to Social Distance and Wear Masks,” Michael Sandel and Colleen Walsh
    “Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19,” Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Govind Persad, Ross Upshur, et al
    “ICU Triage: How Many Lives or Whose Lives?” Angela Ballantyne

    Chapter 13: Race, Racial Bias, and Health Care
    Race and Racism
    Health Disparities and Race
    Implicit Bias in Health Care
    In Depth: Can Implicit Biases Be Changed?
    Racial Profiling in Medicine
    Key Terms
    Cases for Evaluation
    Further Reading
    “Racial Profiling in Medicine,” Michael Root


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