Methods in Medical Ethics

Second Edition

Jeremy Sugarman and Daniel P. Sulmasy, Editors

"Encourages something more than multidisciplinary approaches; [the authors] offer a vision of actual interdisciplinary discourse."
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Medical ethics draws upon methods from a wide array of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, epidemiology, health services research, history, law, medicine, nursing, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology.

In this influential book, outstanding scholars in medical ethics bring these many methods together in one place to be systematically described, critiqued, and challenged. Newly revised and updated chapters in this second edition include philosophy, religion and theology, virtue and professionalism, casuistry and clinical ethics, law, history, qualitative research, ethnography, quantitative surveys, experimental methods, and economics and decision science. This second edition also includes new chapters on literature and sociology, as well as a second chapter on philosophy which expands the range of philosophical methods discussed to include gender ethics, communitarianism, and discourse ethics. In each of these chapters, contributors provide descriptions of the methods, critiques, and notes on resources and training.

Methods in Medical Ethics is a valuable resource for scholars, teachers, editors, and students in any of the disciplines that have contributed to the field. As a textbook and reference for graduate students and scholars in medical ethics, it offers a rich understanding of the complexities involved in the rigorous investigation of moral questions in medical practice and research.

Table of Contents


Part I: Overview

1. The Many Methods of Medical Ethics (Or, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird)
Daniel P. Sulmasy and Jeremy Sugarman

2. A Quarter Century of Empirical Research in Biomedical Ethics
Jeremy Sugarman, Ruth Faden, and Alison Boyce

Part II: Methods

3. Philosophy: Ethical Principles and Common Morality
David DeGrazia and Tom L. Beauchamp

4. Philosophy: Ancient and Contemporary Approaches
Diego Gracia

5. Religion and Theology
Lisa Sowle Cahill

6. Codes, Virtue, and Professionalism
Edmund D. Pellegrino

7. Casuistry and Clinical Ethics
Albert R. Jonsen

8. Legal Methods
Mark A. Hall and Nancy M. P. King

9. History
Susan E. Lederer

10. Literature
Tod Chambers

11. Sociology
Raymond De Vries

12. Qualitative Methods
Holly A. Taylor, Sara Chandros Hull, and Nancy E. Kass

13. Ethnographic Methods
Patricia A. Marshall and Barbara A. Koenig

14. Quantitative Surveys
Robert A. Pearlman and Helene E. Starks

15. Experimental Methods
Marion Danis, Laura Hanson, and Joanne M. Garrett

16. Economics and Decision Science
David A. Asch

Part III: Applications

17. Research in Medical Ethics: Scholarship in "Substituted Judgment"
Daniel P. Sulmasy

18. Reading the Medical Ethics Literature: A Discourse on Method
Daniel P. Sulmasy




"Encourages something more than multidisciplinary approaches; [the authors] offer a vision of actual interdisciplinary discourse."—Health Progress, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"An outstanding achievement. By far the most comprehensive book on research methods in medical ethics to date. Must-reading for any serious student of bioethics."—Mark G. Kuczewski, Loyola University Chicago, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"A valuable resource for scholars, students, instructors, and clinicians . . . a useful tool in the classroom as well as a medium for scholarship and life long learning."—Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Methods in Medical Ethics may be a valuable resource for scholars, teachers, and students of biomedical ethics. But it could serve, as well, as a reliable and comprehensive reference for physicians and other health care workers wishing to expand their view and their understanding of the important principles that guide clinical decision making in a complex health care environment."—New Jersey Medicine, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"No better compliment can be paid to the editors and the contributors of Methods in Medical Ethics than to state that each chapter exemplifies the standards of good scholarship summed up in Sulmasy's concluding discourse on method. . . . A book that will be invaluable for students and teachers alike, a book to read and read again."—JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

"Remarkably well written. . . . Will serve as an excellent introduction to empirical bioethics for audiences from a wide variety of disciplines."—AJOB Primary Research

"The first edition of Methods in Medical Ethics provided one of the clearest and most accessible introductions to medical ethics. . . . The new chapter on applications of the multiple methods of medical ethics, focusing on the crucial topic of surrogate decision making, provides a model of excellence in scholarship in the field. The contributors—all leading scholars in the field—have taken Methods in Medical Ethics to the next extraordinary level. I look forward to teaching from it for many years to come."—Laurence B. McCullough, Dalton Tomlin Chair in Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine


David A. Asch Tom L. Beauchamp Alison Boyce Lisa Sowle Cahill Tod Chambers Marion Danis David DeGrazia Raymond DeVries Ruth Faden Joanne M. Garrett Diego Gracia Mark A. Hall Laura Hanson Sara Chandros Hull Albert R. Jonsen Nancy E. Kass Nancy M.P. King Barbara A. Koenig Susan E. Lederer Patricia A. Marshall Robert A. Pearlman Edmund D. Pellegrino Helene E. Starks Jeremy Sugarman Daniel P. Sulmasy Holly A. Taylor

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Jeremy Sugarman, MD, is Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine and deputy director for medicine at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Daniel P. Sulmasy, OFM, MD, is a Franciscan friar and Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School, and associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.

376 pp., 7 x 10
15 tables, 11 figures
Oct 2010

376 pp., 7 x 10
15 tables, 11 figures
ISBN: 978-1-58901-701-6
Oct 2010

376 pp.
15 tables, 11 figures
ISBN: 978-1-58901-623-1
Oct 2010

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