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Introduction to Bioethics

Introduction to Bioethics

ISBN: 978-0-470-02198-9

Sep 2005

250 pages


Introduction to Bioethics is a comprehensive introduction to the broad field of bioethics, focusing on key issues directly relevant to students of modern biological and medical sciences. Ethical issues relating to both plants and animals are covered, drawing out scientific, medical, social and religious concerns.

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Table of contents.


Chapter 1  Science and Society.

1.1 What's it all about?

1.2 What is science?

1.3 Modern science.

1.4 Science, ethics and values.

1.5 Attitudes to Science.

Chapter 2  Ethics and Bioethics

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 What is ethics?

2.3 The development of ethics.

2.4 The growth of bioethics.

2.5 Ethics in the 21st century.

2.6 Making ethical decisions.

Chapter 3   Humans and the Natural World.

3.1  Introduction.

3.2  What's the problem?

3.3  Valuing the environment.

3.4  The place of humans in nature.

3.5  Some thoughts on stewardship.

3.6  Two current themes in environmental ethics.

3.7  Three current issues in environmental ethics.

3.8  Concluding remarks.

Chapter 4   Humans and Non-human Animals.

4.1  Introduction.

4.2  Humankind's place in the animal kingdom.

4.3  Human use of animals.

4.4  The ethics of animal research.

4.5  Animals in sport, companionship, leisure and fashion.

4.6  Animals for food.

4.7  Conclusion.

Chapter 5  Biotechnology and Bioethics.

5.1  Introduction.

5.2  General ethical issues related to genetic modification.

5.3  Nano-technology.

5.4  Cybernetics.

Chapter 6  Applications of Genetic Modification.

6.1  Pharmaceuticals.

6.2  Food and crops.

6.3  Genetic modification of animals.

6.4  Research uses of genetic modification.

Chapter 7  Human Genes and the Human Genome Project.

7.1  Some history.

7.2  Molecular genetics and the human genome project.

7.3  Some thoughts on eugenics.

7.4  Use of human genetic information.

7.5  Genetic modification of humans - fact or fiction?

Chapter 8   Genes – the Wider Issues.

8.1  Introduction.

8.2  Crop GM technology, world trade and global justice.

8.3  Gene patenting.

8.4  Genetic piracy.

Chapter 9  Cloning and Stem Cells

9.1  Introduction.

9.2  Frogs and sheep.

9.3  Genes and clones.

9.4  It’s not natural – it should be banned!

9.5  The ethics of human cloning - an overview.

9.6  Unlocking the genetic potential of stem cells.

Chapter 10   The New Reproductive Technologies.

10.1  Introduction.

10.2  Gametes outside the body.

10.3  Techniques of assisted reproductive medicine.

10.4  Designer babies.

10.5  Men and women – do we need both?

10.7  Conclusion.

Chapter 11    Embryos, Foetuses and Abortion: Issues of Life Before Birth.

11.1  Introduction.

11.2  The early human embryo.

11.3  Embryo research.

11.4  Abortion.

Chapter 12     Decisions at the End of Life - When May I Die and When Am I Dead?

12.1  Introduction – two important examples.

12.2  How did we get here?

12.3  What is euthanasia?

12.4  The arguments for voluntary euthanasia.

12.5  The arguments against voluntary euthanasia.

12.6  When should medical treatment be withheld or withdrawn?               

Chapter 13   A Code of Ethics for Biologists?     

13.1  Introduction.

13.2  The wider responsibilities of a scientist.

13.3  Should there be an ethical code of practice for bioscientists?

Appendix   A Code of Ethics for Bioscience.


Suggestions for Further Reading.


"…offering a substantial contribution to the didactic literature in bioethics…a welcome addition to the teaching literature on bioethics." (The Electric Review, May/June 2006)

"…a very helpful textbook." (The Quarterly Review of Biology, March 2006)

"…a unique book and a though-provoking read for early career and advanced bioethics scholars from both sides of the Atlantic." (Doody's Health Services)

  • A concise introduction covering the whole field of bioethics
  • Ethical analysis will be threaded through each chapter
  • Chapters will include carefully chosen mini-case studies and examples to place ethics into specific context
  • Key references and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter