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Bioethics Reenvisioned

A Path toward Health Justice

Nancy M. P. King

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 12/2022
Pages: 214
Subject: Medical, Social Science
Print ISBN: 9781469671574
eBook ISBN: 9781469671604


Bioethics needs an expanded moral vision. Born in the ferment of the 1970s, the field responded to rapid developments in biomedical technology and injustices in clinical care and research. Since then, bioethics has predominantly focused on respect for autonomy, beneficence and nonmaleficence, and the zero-sum "lifeboat" ethics of distributive justice, applying these principles almost exclusively within the walls of medical institutions. It is now time for bioethics to take full account of the problems of health disparities and structural injustice that are made newly urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of climate change. This book shows why and how the field must embrace a broader and more meaningful view of justice, principally by incorporating the tools and insights of the social sciences, epidemiology, and public health. Nancy M. P. King, Gail E. Henderson, and Larry R. Churchill make the case for a more social understanding and application of justice, a deeper humility in assessing expertise in bioethics consulting, a broader and more relevant research agenda, and greater appreciation of the profound health implications of global warming.