Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Rethinking Health Care Ethics

Authors: Scher, Stephen, Kozlowska, Kasia

  • Offers a radical departure from the dominant paradigm of “principled decision making” and other theory-driven approaches to clinical ethics
  • Presents an alternative approach by exploring ethical issues in a clinically comprehensible and useful manner
  • Explains to practitioners why they typically perceive bioethics as disengaged from clinical practice and their own experience
  • Offers broad appeal for current clinicians; medical students and other professional trainees; patients and their families; experts in bioethics, philosophy, and law 
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eBook  
  • ISBN 978-981-13-0830-7
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $31.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-981-13-0829-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

​The goal of this open access book is to develop an approach to clinical health care ethics that is more accessible to, and usable by, health professionals than the now-dominant approaches that focus, for example, on the application of ethical principles. The book elaborates the view that health professionals have the emotional and intellectual resources to discuss and address ethical issues in clinical health care without needing to rely on the expertise of bioethicists. The early chapters review the history of bioethics and explain how academics from outside health care came to dominate the field of health care ethics, both in professional schools and in clinical health care. The middle chapters elaborate a series of concepts, drawn from philosophy and the social sciences, that set the stage for developing a framework that builds upon the individual moral experience of health professionals, that explains the discontinuities between the demands of bioethics and the experience and perceptions of health professionals, and that enables the articulation of a full theory of clinical ethics with clinicians themselves as the foundation. Against that background, the first of three chapters on professional education presents a general framework for teaching clinical ethics; the second discusses how to integrate ethics into formal health care curricula; and the third addresses the opportunities for teaching available in clinical settings. The final chapter, "Empowering Clinicians", brings together the various dimensions of the argument and anticipates potential questions about the framework developed in earlier chapters.

About the authors

Stephen Scher is Senior Editor, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and Lecturer in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School, USA, and University of Sydney Medical School, Australia. He recently stepped down as Senior Editor of the American Journal of International Law.
Kasia Kozlowska is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Medical School, Australia.

Reviews

Rethinking Health Care Ethics is a fine example of the power of interdisciplinary work, particularly the role of the social sciences and their relationship to philosophy. It no less focuses on how to make that helpful to the clinicians who have to make the hard decisions. The book brings a valuable set of insights to important issues.” (Daniel Callahan, co-founder and President Emeritus, The Hastings Center)

“This practically useful, important book takes on the intricate and confusing problem created by bioethics when applied not in policy but in clinical practice. In lieu of the bioethical principles and methods that clinicians frequently find irrelevant and unhelpful, the authors present an alternative clinical framing that enables them to develop an entire pedagogy for clinical bioethics. This is hugely ambitious, and readers will agree and disagree about different recommendations. The authors have nevertheless engaged an extraordinarily difficult subject with original thinking and practical proposals. Best of all this is a very human form of clinical training and intervention that turns on the moral cultivation of the individual and her or his growing acquaintance with clinical experience. The authors seek to empower clinicians, and I believe they succeed.” (Arthur Kleinman, MD, author of The Illness Narratives, What Really Matters, and Patients and Healers in the Context of Culture)

“Health care ethics has typically been taught in the classroom, not the clinic. The actual ethical thinking of clinicians has been less investigated and is less well understood. Rethinking Health Care Ethics addresses this deficit by giving educators and clinicians a new way of thinking about ethics; a way that is accessible and relevant and not dependent on applying complex philosophical theories. In addition to being an intelligent exposé of the limits of bioethics, the book provides a pathway for students and clinicians to integrate ethical thinking into clinical practice from the get-go. I strongly recommend this book to all health care educators and clinicians.” (Merrilyn Walton, MSW, PhD, Professor of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney)

“In this superbly written book the authors draw on materials from philosophy and the social sciences to elaborate a model of ethical discourse for clinical health care whose central feature is the recognition and development of each trainee's and each clinician’s own moral thinking, based in the self and reflecting a person's entire life experience. From this core insight, and with many vignettes drawn from their own clinical experience, the authors also elaborate an approach both to formal classroom teaching and to less formal teaching in clinical settings that amounts, in effect, to a full program for teaching clinical ethics. I warmly recommend this groundbreaking book as a highly useful resource for teachers, trainees, and health care professionals interested in clinical ethics as an inherent part of compassionate, effective, and safe health care.” (Per Olav Vandvik, MD, Professor of Evidence-Based Practice and Shared Decision-Making, University of Oslo) 

“Scher and Kozlowska offer a powerful and deeply reasoned critique of teaching and practice in contemporary bioethics. In its place, they offer a timely, compelling, and humane proposal for rethinking values and ethics in the care of patients.” (Allan M. Brandt, Harvard University)


Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • A Brief Introduction

    Scher, Stephen (et al.)

    Pages 1-11

  • The Limitations of Bioethics: A Personal History

    Scher, Stephen (et al.)

    Pages 13-30

  • The Rise of Bioethics: A Historical Overview

    Scher, Stephen (et al.)

    Pages 31-44

  • Theory and Practice: From the Top Down

    Scher, Stephen (et al.)

    Pages 45-56

  • The Elusiveness of Closure

    Scher, Stephen (et al.)

    Pages 57-70

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-981-13-0830-7
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $31.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-981-13-0829-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Rethinking Health Care Ethics
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-981-13-0830-7
DOI
10.1007/978-981-13-0830-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-13-0829-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 169
Topics