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An Introduction for the Biosciences

Second Edition

Ben Mepham

Publication Date - May 2008

ISBN: 9780199214303

440 pages

The most wide-ranging and balanced textbook in bioethics, this volume offers students just the right mix of science and philosophy


Bioethical issues remain front-page news, with debate continuing to rage over issues including genetic modification, animal cloning, and "designer babies." With public opinion often driven by media speculation, how can we ensure that informed decisions regarding key bioethical issues are made in a reasoned, objective way?

Ideal for students new to the subject, Bioethics: An Introduction for the Biosciences offers a balanced, objective introduction to the field. With a focus on developing powers of reasoning and judgment, the book presents different perspectives on common themes in an impartial way, thereby fostering debate and discussion. The opening section, "The Ethical Groundwork," introduces students to the nature of bioethics and ethical theory. The book goes on to cover a broad range of bioethical issues relating to people, animals, and food, before concluding with an overview of bioethics in practice.


* The broadest, most balanced textbook on bioethics available, offering students just the right mix of science and philosophy as well as a clear, objective introduction to the subject
* Presents different perspectives on common themes in order to encourage students to question, evaluate, and form their own opinions
* Incorporates many useful pedagogical tools including self-assessment questions, topics for discussion, and exercises
* Includes references for further reading and useful web sites
* A companion website offers resources for both students and instructors

Previous Publication Date(s)

July 2005


"I am impressed with Mepham's knowledge of bioethics and his ability to articulately and intelligently communicate that knowledge to introductory students. His logical, objective approach in discussing a subject that is widely misunderstood, and often feared, is timely and important. I can think of no other textbook that I would rather have in the classroom when asking students to leave their opinions, biases, and intellectual baggage at the door and consider bioethics in a meaningful, thoughtful, and substantive manner."--Jason Johnstone-Yellin, University of Idaho

Table of Contents

    I. The Theoretical Background to Bioethics
    1. The Nature of Bioethics
    2. Theories of Ethics
    3. A Framework for Ethical Analysis
    II. Bioethics and Human Futures
    4. The Biology of Poverty
    5. Fertility and Morality
    6. Genomics, Eugenics and Integrity
    III. Bioethics and Animals
    7. Human Uses of Animals
    8. Experiments on Animals
    9. Animals and Modern Biotechnology
    IV. Bioethics, Plants, and the Environment
    10. The First Generation of Genetically Modified Crops
    11. Dietary Futures
    12. Environmental Sustainability
    V. Bioethics in Practice
    13. Risk, Precaution, and Trust
    14. Politics and the Biosciences
    15. Bioethics in the Laboratory

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