Handbook of Bioethics

Taking Stock of the Field from a Philosophical Perspective

  • George Khushf

Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 78)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Introduction: Taking Stock of Bioethics From a Philosophical Perspective

  3. The Emergence of Bioethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-29
    2. Albert R. Jonsen
      Pages 31-51
  4. Bioethical Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Tom L. Beauchamp, David DeGrazia
      Pages 55-74
    3. Joseph Boyle
      Pages 75-88
    4. David C. Thomasma
      Pages 89-120
    5. K. Danner Clouser, Bernard Gert
      Pages 121-141
    6. Rosemarie Tong
      Pages 143-161
    7. Hilde Lindemann Nelson
      Pages 163-181
  5. Core Concepts in Clinical Ethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 203-203
    2. Lennart Nordenfelt
      Pages 205-222
    3. Stephen Wear
      Pages 251-290
  6. The Public Policy Context

  7. Foundations of the Health Professions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 439-439
    2. Osborne P. Wiggins, Michael Alan Schwartz
      Pages 473-488
    3. Sara T. Fry
      Pages 489-505
    4. Laurence McCullough
      Pages 507-523
    5. Douglas L. Weed
      Pages 525-547
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 549-573

About this book


In general, the history of virtue theory is well-documented (Sherman, 1997; O’Neill, 1996). Its relationship to medicine is also recorded in our work and in that of others (Pellegrino and Thomasma, 1993b; 1996; Drane, 1994; Ellos, 1990). General publications stress the importance of training the young in virtuous practices. Still, the popularity of education in virtue is widely viewed as part of a conservative backlash to modern liberal society. Given the authorship of some of these works by professional conservatives like William Bennett (1993; 1995), this concern is authentic. One might correspondingly fear that greater adoption of virtue theory in medicine will be accompanied by a corresponding backward-looking social agenda. Worse yet, does reaffirmation of virtue theory lacquer over the many challenges of the postmodern world view as if these were not serious concerns? After all, recreating the past is the “retro” temptation of our times. Searching for greater certitude than we can now obtain preoccupies most thinkers today. One wishes for the old clarity and certitudes (Engelhardt, 1991). On the other hand, the same thinkers who yearn for the past, like Engelhardt sometimes seems to do, might stress the unyielding gulf between past and present that creates the postmodern reaction to all systems of Enlightenment thought (1996).


Beauchamp Clinical Ethics Ethical Issues Health Care Ethics Medical Ethics Moral Reproductive Ethics bioethics ethics health history of bioethics

Editors and affiliations

  • George Khushf
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities and Department of PhilosophyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information