Arguing forand againstthe value and practice of ethnography in medicine
Bioethics in Social Context
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edited by Barry Hoffmaster
The problems of bioethics are embedded in people's lives and social worlds. They are shaped by individual biographies and relationships, by the ethos and institutions of health care, by economic and political pressures, by media depictions, and by the assumptions, beliefs, and values that permeate cultures and times. Yet these forces are largely ignored by a professional bioethics that concentrates on the theoretical justification of decisions.
The original essays in this volume use qualitative research methods to expose the multiple contexts within which the problems of bioethics arise, are defined and debated, and ultimately resolved. In a provocative concluding essay, one contributor asks his fellow ethnographers to reflect on the ethical problems of ethnography.
Read a review from Journal of the History of Medicine, Volume 57 (July 2002), written by Gary S. Belkin (pdf).
"...this book provides a valuable contribution to the expanding field of empirically based ethics, or 'ethics in use', revealing the moral decisions people make in the real world, and how and why they make those decisions."
Introduction Barry Hoffmaster
Barry Hoffmaster is a Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. From 1991 to 1996 he was the Director of the Westminster Institute for Ethics and Human Values in London, Ontario, and he served as President of the Canadian Bioethics Society in 1994-95. He is a Fellow of the Hastings Center.
Contributors: Sharon R. Kaufman, Margaret Lock, Sydney A. Halpern, Peter Conrad, Renee R. Anspach & Diane Beeson, Patricia A. Marshall, Diane Beeson & Teresa Doksum, Cate McBurney, Charles L. Bosk, and the editor.