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Table of contents

Standing at the intersection of philosophy, law, science, medicine and in some cases, theology, bioethics encompasses some of the most troubling questions of the past two decades. Here, Schaller addresses and analyzes in depth a range of bioethical issues: the use of human subjects in scientific research; wrongful birth and wrongful life claims; in vitro fertilization and use of embryos; genetic diagnostic techniques; embryonic stem cell research; organ transplants; and end-of-life issues, including withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration.

Schaller combines a practical sense of how the law works, with a reflective approach to all these contemporary legal and ethical issues. His basic premise, to which he returns repeatedly, is that recent developments in medicine and biomedical technology have far outpaced the written law developed by state legislatures and, on the federal level, by the US Congress.

As a result, a full and open debate on bioethical issues has thus far been stifled. Schaller deplores this; as he sees it, courts are making policy rather than ruling narrowly on the disputes before them. Judges, often appointed, not elected, and often unschooled in bioethics, resort to the traditional tools of their profession in these cutting edge cases, with mixed results. Schaller is outspoken in his opposition to judges who intrude on the territory of legislatures, while at the same time, he finds such judges blameless, since they cannot be expected to cite or rely on statutes that do not yet exist.

He is deeply concerned about the many ways in which litigation is inadequate to address fundamental ethical issues in twenty-first century America. To support his thesis and to explore the intricacies of contemporary bioethics and the law, he includes extensive analysis of the factual background, the bioethical context, litigation, and the outcome of a half dozen high profile cases from the past two decades.

For this reason, the text will appeal to novices. In subsequent chapters, Schaller reiterates the principles set forth in these, particularly on the question of informed consent in research using human subjects. It is therefore perplexing why, often, Schaller assumes a certain amount of sophistication on the part of readers. Thus, some readers will find themselves all too often flipping back and forth within the text, or in the Index, to navigate through a chapter.

Secondary Sources - Bioethics and the Law - LibGuides at Widener Law Library

The first of these, on using human subjects for scientific and medical experimentation, begins with the case of Jesse Gelsinger, a young man who suffered from a rare genetic disorder. The Maryland legislature passed a law extending federal protections to all human research subjects in Maryland, and both the University of Pennsylvania and Hopkins instituted improved self-regulatory measures. Setting norms ought to be the business of legislatures, not courts; the public interest in setting standards for human subject research — as well as for embryonic stem cell production, use and ownership of human embryos, organ transplants, and end-of-life protocols and treatment decisions — is paramount, and deserving of a robust and thorough public debate, and corresponding debate, negotiation and consensus among legislators.

He poses and explores a range of perplexing questions: Which would-be organ recipients ought to have priority?

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How is the waiting list of potential recipients affected by delay, or by inadequacy in the supply of organs? How should negligence on the part of physicians and hospitals be addressed — by traditional litigation, or by new measures? What risks exist for living organ donors? Technology and the Lifeworld: From Garden to Earth. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Environmental Change. Computer Ethics. Computer Ethics and Social Values. New York: The Free Press, ed.

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New York: St. Martin s Press, Science, Truth, and Democracy. Science in a Democratic Society.

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Health and Human Rights: A Reader. The Secret Sins of Economics.

The Human Cloning Debate. Who Owns Academic Work? Battling for Control of Intellectual Property. Animals and Why They Matter. Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine.

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Science-Mart: Privatizing American Science. New York: W. Freeman, The Ethics of Biotechnology: Biotechnology in the 21st Century. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House, Dillingham, eds. Watersheds: Classic Cases in Environmental Ethics. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publ. Washington, D. The Quality of Life. Postmodern Environmental Ethics. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, Pseudoscience in Biological Psychiatry: Blaming the Body. No Place Like Home? Feminist Ethics and Home Health Care. New York: Scribner s, Environmental Ethic: Reading in Theory and Application.

Smith, eds. Geography and Ethics: Journeys in a Moral Terrain. The Case for Animal Rights. Improving Nature? The Science and Ethics of Genetic Engineering. The Ethics of Science: An Introduction.

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