Inquiries in Bioethics

cover art
192 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878405381 (0878405380)

September 1993
LC: 93-17564


Table of Contents

Inquiries in Bioethics
Stephen G. Post
The biological revolution, with its attendant technological powers to alter nature and human nature, demands fundamental and cautionary reflection on questions of the highest ethical importance. In this thoughtful book on contemporary issues in bioethics, Stephen G. Post explores nine major topics ranging from birth and adolescence to aging and death. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Post clearly illuminates the issues, probes the ethical alternatives, and examines the cultural changes that shape current presuppositions about the right and good. This book will be of interest to scholars in bioethics, philosophy, and religious studies; health-care professionals; and the general reader concerned with these pressing questions of life and death.
Stephen G. Post is president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love at Stony Brook University.
"Thought-provoking and timely. . . . Post demonstrates a rare ability to synthesize theological and secular strains of moral thought in grappling with some of the most difficult ethical challenges posed by contemporary medicine and science. Post handles topics as diverse as adoption, animal rights, and euthanasia with clarity and insight. He shows that one of the ways morality can keep pace with changes fostered by developments in biomedicine is to look backwards into its own rich canon. There Post finds the framework of virtues, norms and values that he successfully wields to shed light on some of the thorniest issues of our day. Inquiries in Bioethics is an important work from an important new voice in bioethics."—Arthur L. Caplan, director, Center for Biomedical Ethics, University of Minnesota

"Finally we have a book in bioethics that refuses to be theory-driven. Instead, Post shows how attending to what we actually care about, such as having children, caring for the aged, and even love, can give direction to issues in bioethics. This is a book filled with uncommon common sense and wisdom. I heartily recommend it to anyone."—Stanley Hauerwas, professor of theological ethics, The Divinity School, Duke University

"A highly readable collection of essays revealing the author's humanistic breadth in a rich blend of evidence, argument, history, and anecdote. His conclusions do not always reflect popular positions, yet his common sense and critical insights are likely to impress even those who disagree."—Mary B. Mahowald, professor and assistant director, The Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, The University of Chicago

Table of Contents
1. Designer Babies, Selective Abortion, and Human Perfection

2. The Moral Meaning of Relinquishing an Infant: Reflections on Adoption

3. Adolescents in Time of AIDS

4. Psychiatry and the Challenge of Religious Toleration

5. American Culture and Good Death

6. The Covenant of Basic Caring

7. Old-Age-Based Rationing, Dementia, and Quality of Life

8. The Legacy of Racial Hygiene: Death and Data

9. The Emergence of Species Impartiality: A Medical Critique of Biocentrism