Contemporary Debates in Bioethics

Contemporary Debates in Philosophy

Book 27
Sold by John Wiley & Sons
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Contemporary Debates in Bioethics features a timely collection of highly readable, debate-style arguments contributed by many of today’s top bioethics scholars, focusing on core bioethical concerns of the twenty-first century.

  • Written in an engaging, debate-style format for accessibility to non-specialists
  • Features general introductions to each topic that precede scholarly debates
  • Presents the latest, cutting-edge thoughts on relevant bioethics ideas, arguments, and debates
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About the author

Arthur L. Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and Head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. He is the author or editor of 30 books and more than 550 papers in refereed journals. His most recent books are Smart Mice Not So Smart People (2006) and the Penn Guide to Bioethics (2009).

Robert Arp is co-editor of Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology (2009), author of Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving (2008) and co-editor of Information and Living Systems: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives (2011).

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Additional Information

John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Jul 22, 2013
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Medical / Ethics
Philosophy / General
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From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
In Addicted to Incarceration, author Travis Pratt uses an evidence-based approach to explore the consequences of what he terms America's "addiction to incarceration," highlighting the scope of the problem, the nature of the political discussions surrounding criminal justice policy in general and corrections policy in particular, and the social cost of incarceration.

Pratt demonstrates that the United States' addiction to incarceration has been fueled by American citizens' opinions about crime and punishment, the effectiveness of incarceration as a means of social control, and perhaps most important, by policies legitimized by faulty information (e.g.,fear of crime is objectively linked to victimization, petty offenders mature into violent predators, and persistent offending can be accurately predicted over the life course). Analyzing crime policies as they relate to crime rates and U.S. society's ability to both lower the crime rate and address the role of incarceration in preventing future crime, the book shows students how ineffective our rush to incarcerate has been in the last decade, as well as offering recommendations and insights into the future of this problem.

Real world examples that put a human face on the issues open each chapter Race, ethnicity, and gender issues underlie all discussions and address key aspects of incarceration rates and crime trends The social costs of incarceration are explored, including the heightened inmate risk of personal victimization, incarceration's effect as a barrier to successful offender reintegration into society, and its role in exacerbating existing racial inequalities The final chapter contains conclusions and recommendations for future policy makers

Written in an informal and accessible style, Addicted to Incarceration is appropriate for criminal justice policy or corrections courses at the undergraduate level and can also be used as a supplementary text in introductory criminal justice, criminology, and critical issues in criminal justice courses.

"... this book is though-provoking, bringing a scientist's reason and a moralist's outrage to bear on a subject that's largely escaped attention." -- Wired

"Caplan's choice of topics is broad and his opinions challenging.... This volume will interest the general public. It is a good survey of a broad range of ethical issues, as seen by one prominent bioethicist who has thought much about the subject. Caplan's well-merited reputation as a commentator and interpreter between the scholarly and the public arena is reaffirmed in this book." -- The Washington Post

"Arthur Caplan -- with assiduous effort, unflagging energy, encyclopedic knowledge, and imposing talent -- has become America's most visible commentator on bioethics." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Arthur Caplan is perhaps the most quoted bioethicist in the US and this new collection of essays illustrates why." -- Nature Medicine

"... an important book of essays addressing the most problematic and persistent questions in the realm of contemporary bioethics. He offers a highly readable text balancing irony and incisive analysis with a palpable sense of moral urgency as he confronts a variety of subjects." -- Curtis W. Hart, BCC

"Careful consideration of some of the knottier bioethical problems of our times, by the director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, who fears that cynicism and mistrust have eroded our ability to see ourselves as our brothers' keepers." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Caplan's particular skill is an ability to identify, analyze, and explain the extremely complex moral questions that grow out of changes in health care, science, and medicine." -- The New York Times Magazine

"An important critical voice for American medicine." -- The New England Journal of Medicine

"... a useful introduction to a variety of bioethical issues." -- Library Journal

In this impassioned book, Arthur L. Caplan, America's leading bioethicist, calls for an end to cynicism and mistrust in our approach to resolving health care issues. He brings this vision to discussions of some of the most exciting issues at the frontiers of medical ethics today -- including doctor-assisted suicide, gene therapy, and the headline-grabbing case of Dolly the sheep and the possibility that human beings might one day be cloned.

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