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Paperback | $24.00 Short | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262524780 | 248 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 6 illus.| August 2007

Instructor Resources

Against Bioethics


“Baron's diagnosis is correct: much is lacking in how bioethics has been translated into policy and practice. His proposed therapy, greater reliance on utilitarianism and decision theory, may not be a complete answer, but it moves the field in the right direction. Baron's critique, and his proposed solutions, deserve a wide readership.”
Barbara A. Koenig, Professor of Medicine, Mayo College of Medicine
“In this provacative book, Jonathan Baron calls on bioethics to base their ethical judgements on explicit, quantifiable, utilitarian principles. Aware of the resistance to this approach, he demonstrates its strengths in a broad overview of a range of bioethical debates. Will assisted suicide laws for terminally ill patients lead to a slippery slope? Will genetically modified plants cause hard to the environment? Will new reproductive technologies cheapen the meaning of parenthood? Baron's utilitarian approach based as it is on decision analysis, ofers a powerful tool to inform these decisions.”
Peter A. Ubel, Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan
Against Bioethics is a well-written, lucid, nontechnical exposition of how utilitarianism and its technical cousin, decision analysis, can be applied to a variety of bioethical problems including assisted suicide, informed consent, and the justifications for "going against nature" (a particularly intriguing chapter on genetic engineering and stem cell research). For the most part, the book avoids the computational complexities that have limited the audience for a decision-analytic view of these problems. Instead, it focuses on the philosophical principles at stake and works out their implications for action. Its critique of specific solutions recommended by applied bioethicists deserves serious consideration.”
Arthur Elstein, Professor Emeritus of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, past president, Society for Medical Decision Making
“Ignore the title. Baron doesn't want to get rid of bioethics, but to show us how we can do it better. His acute diagnosis of the pervasive errors of deontological approaches to bioethics deserves a wide readership.”
Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princetn University