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This book approaches bioethics on the basis of a conception of life and what is needed for the affirmation of its quality in the most encompassing sense. Lawrence E. Johnson applies this conception to discussions of controversial issues in bioethics including euthanasia, abortion, cloning, and genetic engineering. His emphasis is not on providing definitive solutions to all bioethical issues but on developing an approach to coping with them that can also help us deal with new issues as they emerge. The foundation of this discussion is an extensive examination of the nature of the self and its good and of various approaches to ethics. His bioethic is integrally related to his well-known work on environmental philosophy. The book also applies these principles on an individual level, offering a user-friendly discussion of how to deal with ethical slippery slopes and how and where to draw the line when dealing with difficult questions of bioethics.Read more
- Frames discussion of current 'hot topics' in bioethics with an extensive discussion of its historical and philosophical background
- Proposes a life-affirming virtue ethic as a guide to living well and provides specific guidance for how to develop solutions for day-to-day bioethical issues
- The only book on bioethics to consider diverse ethical theories, the nature of our human good and the nature of life itself
Reviews & endorsements
“By conceptualizing life as a process rather than a substance, and by identifying selves as life-processes, Johnson provides us with an innovative approach to the perennial question of how we ought to live our lives. Our good is our health, and our health is an activity whose trajectory changes over the course of our lives. The effects of this sensible thesis ramify throughout a host of urgent contemporary moral issues. I strongly recommend Johnson’s accessible work.”
– Mark H Bernstein, Joyce and Edward E Brewer Chair in Applied Ethics, Purdue University
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“Lawrence Johnson’s A Life-Centered Approach to Bioethics is a timely and engaging work, addressing challenging contemporary issues in bioethics, ranging from genetic manipulation to euthanasia and abortion. Johnson succeeds in providing a compelling text for students in bioethics courses, while also presenting provocative positions that will be of interest to professional philosophers and bioethicists. His distinctive biocentric approach to human well-being is a natural extension of his highly regarded work in environmental ethics, and should garner a wide audience.”
– Jason Kavall, Colgate University
“This is biocentric bioethics. The novelty in Johnson’s approach is his provocative insight that those who affirm all life come to different perspectives and conclusions about human life than do those who start assuming that only human or sentient life is of moral concern. That deepens bioethics and results, surprisingly, in a more humane caring for persons. Read it to enrich both your life and your bioethics.”
– Holmes Rolston, III, Colorado State University
"....presents a holistic approach to bioethics that views humans as functioning beings interacting within a complex biosocial environment.... This is an erudite yet highly accessible overview of important bioethical issues. Johnson's experiences serving on various institutional review boards provide some compelling examples for his careful philosophical analysis.... Highly recommended...."
--J. B. Hagen, Radford University, CHOICE
"....The book is aimed at all who are interested in matters of life and death, not just academic philosophers working on bioethics.... In summary, this book provides an account of how one can approach bioethical issues from a different perspective rather than relying on the common consequentialist or deontological approaches to such problems and will be of interest to those who are dissatisfied with these approaches."
--Lisa Grover , Ph.D., University of the Witwatersrand, Metapsychology Online Reviews
"...Johnson must be congratulated for adopting the notion of biocentrism for bioethics and for developing the notion into an ethical system such as BCE..."
--James A. Marcum, Department of Philosophy, Baylor University, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
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- Date Published: December 2010
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521766265
- length: 388 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 158 x 25 mm
- weight: 0.64kg
- contains: 1 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Backgrounds:
2. Some background: self and reason
3. Some background: approaches to ethics
4. Some background: our good
5. Elusive lines, slippery slopes, and moral principles
Part II. Life, Death, and Bioethics:
6. Being alive
7. Being healthy
8. Health and virtue
9. Death and life
10. Drawing lines with death
11. Double effect: euthanasia, and proportionality
13. The gene I: the mystique
14. The gene II: manipulation
15. Ethics and biomedical research
16. Bioethics seen in an eastern light
17. Toward a wider view.
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