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The Foundations of Bioethics Hardcover – January 4, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0195057362 ISBN-10: 0195057368 Edition: 2nd

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The Foundations of Bioethics + Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Principles of Biomedical Ethics (Beauchamp)) + Clinical Ethics:  A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions in Clinical Medicine, Seventh Edition (LANGE Clinical Science)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (January 4, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195057368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195057362
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book on bioethics offers a useful, relatively detailed discussion of the principles of autonomy, beneficence, justice; of the concepts of personhood, disease, confidentiality; and of issues such as abortion, infanticide, and the allocation of health care. Insofar as the book discusses ethical theory, it is simplistic and uninteresting; the author encumbers himself and us by viewing various things as matters of having a right rather than of doing what is right . Extensive footnotes provide an effective substitute for a bibliography. All things considered, a good overview for non-philosophers. Robert Hoffman, Philosophy Dept., York Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"One of the most brilliant books to appear in the field of bioethics."--The New England Journal of Medicine

"The first edition...was an excellent and influential text of nearly 400 pages. The second edition is almost 50 pages longer...; it, too, is an excellent book and promises to be as influential as its predecessor....Engelhardt's text is thoughtful, provocative, stimulating, well argued, and well written. It contains a wealth of information and is encyclopedic in its scope. It should be required reading for anyone who has any interest at all in bioethics."--Journal of the American Medical Association

"Will appeal to those who seek, not advice per se, but analysis of the intellectual justificationof clinical and policy recommendations in bioethics.... Clinicians interested in the role of ethics in health care and health care policy will find The Foundations of Bioethics worth careful study."--Annals of Internal Medicine

"Do not be deceived--this is not just another revision. This is a religiously powerful and candid reading by the author of his more philosophical arguments in the first edition of The Foundations of Bioethics. In effect he resituates the discourse of the first edition by making candid the theological presuppositions that conformed it. This is the most important book that has been written since the beginning of that strange project called bioethics."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University

"Engelhardt has done it again--the second edition of The Foundations of Bioethics presents a powerful and controversial challenge and alternative to major frameworks of bioethics. It is not possible to do bioethics responsibly without close attention to this important book."--James Childress, University of Virginia

"We need not agree with Engelhardt's major theses nor his conclusions but we must admire the impressive breadth of his scholarship, the vigorous reasoning and original thinking. Anyone concerned with the philosophical substrata of secular bioethics must read this careful revision of Engelhardt's justly acclaimed seminal book."--Edmund Pellegrino, Georgetown University

"An impressive and distinguished contribution to this difficult and controversial field. The scope of the book is wide and Englehardt maintains a high standard of argument throughout....The book is certainly challenging, and both radicals and conservatives will find parts of it uncomfortable and dangerous. Bioethics badly needs such danger, for the perils of thinking that the dilemmas of modern medicine can be navigated without risk are much greater."--The Philosophical Review (on the first edition)

"Being as it is a comprehensive treatment of the foundations of bioethics by one of the originators and seminal thinkers in the field, those who specialize in bioethics, particularly in academe, are surely obliged to read the Foundations in detail....We strongly recommend Professor Engelhardt's Foundations to all those who sit on HECs and are called upon to provide advice and counsel to those who daily confront a myriad of ethical quandries."--HEC Forum

"As a general rule, a second edition is not very different from the first. This book is an exception. It reveals a marked progression in the thinking of well-known US bioethisist H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.....This is a valuable and informative book."--Canadian Medical Association Journal

"Insightful and well written...This new edition contains new material on the allocation of scarce resources and health care reform...Includes extensive notes and references at the end of each chapter."--Doody's Journal

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rarely, does anyone get down to the elemental processes of human interactions. This book is one of those rare occasions. It basically negates all known ethical methods and demands respect for human rights (albeit in a un- or under-stated way).
Post-Modern Ethics has no where to go except to the process of mutual respect of individuals.
This is a difficult book to read because it cuts through all internal and external methods thus attacking one's own value system. A section on axiology would have been a plus (but not necessary.)
It's must read for the new mellenium.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James L. Park on August 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
H. Tristram Engelhardt, , Jr.
The Foundations of Bioethics

(New York: Oxford University Press, 1986) p. 107, 108.

This book contains two chapters addressing the issue of personhood,
at the beginning and end of human life.
The author clearly believes that full persons should have higher status
and more rights than pre-persons or former persons.
The ability to make responsible decisions ("moral agency")
is one of the most distinctive marks of personhood.

The following two quotes are from pages 107 & 108 respectively:

"What distinguishes persons is their capacity to be self-conscious,
rational, and concerned with worthiness of blame and praise.
The possibility of such entities
grounds the possibility of the moral community.
It offers us a way of reflecting on the rightness and wrongness
of actions and the worthiness or unworthiness of actors.

On the other hand, not all humans are persons.
Not all humans are self-conscious, rational,
and able to conceive of the possibility of blaming and praising.
Fetuses, infants, the profoundly mentally retarded,
and the hopelessly comatose provide examples of nonpersons.
Such entities are members of the human species.
They do not in and of themselves have standing in the moral community.
They cannot blame or praise or be worthy of blame or praise.
They are not prime participants in the moral endeavor.
Only persons have that status."

"For this reason it is nonsensical to speak of respecting
the autonomy of fetuses, infants, or profoundly retarded adults,
who have never been rational.
There is no autonomy to affront.
Read more ›
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