This fascinating examination of the development of virtue ethics in the early stages of western civilization deals with a wide range of philosophers and schools of philosophy—from Socrates and the Stoics to Plato, Aristotle, and the Epicureans, among others. This introduction examines those human attributes that we have come to know as the "stuff" of virtue: desire, happiness, the "good," character, the role of pride, prudence, and wisdom, and links them to more current or modern conceptions and controversies.
The tension between viewing ethics and morality as fundamentally religious or as fundamentally rational still runs deep in our culture. A second tension centers on whether we view morality primarily in terms of our obligations or primarily in terms of our desires for what is good. The Greek term arete, which we generally translate as "virtue," can also be translated as "excellence." Arete embraced both intellectual and moral excellence as well as human creations and achievements. Useful, certainly, for classrooms, Virtue Ethics is also for anyone interested in the fundamental question Socrates posed, "What kind of life is worth living?"
For nearly fifteen years Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics has offered scholars and students a highly accessible and teachable alternative to the dominant principle-based theories in the field. Devettere’s approach is not based on an ethics of abstract obligations and duties, but, following Aristotle, on how to live a fulfilled and happy life—in short, an ethics of personal well-being grounded in prudence, the virtue of ethical decision making.
This third edition is revised and updated and includes discussions of several landmark cases, including the tragic stories of Terri Schiavo and Jesse Gelsinger (the first death caused by genetic research). Devettere addresses new topics such as partial-birth abortion law, embryonic stem cell research, infant euthanasia in The Netherlands, recent Vatican statements on feeding tubes, organ donation after cardiac death, new developments in artificial hearts, clinical trials developed by pharmaceutical companies to market new drugs, ghostwritten scientific articles published in major medical journals, and controversial HIV/AIDS research in Africa. This edition also includes a new chapter on the latest social and political issues in American health care.
Devettere’s engaging text relies on commonsense moral concepts and avoids academic jargon. It includes a glossary of legal, medical, and ethical terms; an index of cases; and thoroughly updated bibliographic essays at the end of each chapter that offer resources for further reading. It is a true classic, brilliantly conceived and executed, and is now even more valuable to undergraduates and graduate students, medical students, health care professionals, hospital ethics committees and institutional review boards, and general readers interested in philosophy, medicine, and the rapidly changing field of health care ethics.
For more than twenty years Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics has offered scholars and students a highly accessible and teachable alternative to the dominant principle-based theories in the field. Raymond J. Devettere's approach is not based on an ethics of abstract obligations and duties but, following Aristotle, on how to live a fulfilled and happy life—in short, an ethics of personal well-being grounded in prudence, the virtue of ethical decision making.
New sections added in this revised fourth edition include sequencing whole genomes, even those of newborns; the new developments in genetic testing now provided by online commercial companies such as 23andMe; the genetic testing of fetuses by capturing their DNA circulating in the pregnant woman's blood; the Stanford Prison experiment and its relevance to the abuses at the Abu Graib prison; recent breakthroughs in the diagnosis of consciousness disorders such as PVS; the ongoing controversy generated by the NIH study of premature babies at many NICUs throughout the county, a study known as SUPPORT that the OHRP (Office of Human Research Protections, an office within the department of HHS) deemed unethical.
Devettere updates most chapters. New cases include Marlise Munoz (dead pregnant woman's body kept on life support by a Texas hospital), Jahi McMath (teenager pronounced dead in California but treated as alive in New Jersey), Margot Bentley (nursing home feeding a woman dying of end stage Alzheimer’s despite her advance directive that said no nourishment or liquids if she was dying with dementia), Brittany Maynard (dying 29-year-old California woman who moved to Oregon to commit suicide with a physician's help), and Samantha Burton (woman with two children who suffered rupture of membranes at 25 weeks and whose physician obtained a court order to keep her at the hospital to make sure she stayed on bed rest). Thoughtfully updated and renewed for a new generation of readers, this classic textbook will be required reading for students and scholars of philosophy and medical ethics.