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Life and Death Decision-Making - Baruch A. Brody

Life and Death Decision-Making

Hardcover

Published: 3rd March 1988
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Integrating theory with realistic case studies, this book examines the practical application of moral theory in clinical decision-making. With forty composite cases based on actual clinical experiences, the author describes key moral problems raised by modern medicine. He then demonstrates how these dilemmas can be resolved using a problem-solving framework termed pluralistic casuistry. This approach is pluralistic in that it accepts the relevance of many different moral grounds, drawn from different traditional moral theories, each of which may seem self-contained and hence in conflict with other claims. Consequently, the author stresses the need to achieve a synthesis of these traditional moral theories, rather than treating them as competitors. His approach is casuistrical in the sense that it considers the important differences between the cases at issue and applies the different moral appeals in different ways. The richly detailed case studies will challenge readers, clarify the ethical issues involved, and indicate how theory and practice can be integrated. Containing a multiplicity of factors faced in clinical crises, they are ideal for group discussions concerning the ways in which theory relates to actual life-or-death situations.

"Unique in its mastery of the difficult art of bringing theory and practical application together, and in its clarity and thoroughness of presentation....After having perused Brody's cases and having tried the model on instances from my own clinical experience, I can testify to feeling satisfied and confident when a case has passed through the model. It ensures that all aspects are taken into consideration, and the process leads rather gently and with reassuring thoroughness to judgments that seem to validate the model, as Brody anticipated. This is an extraordinary book. Its style is clear and easy to read, and the arguments have been carefully thought through. It deserves to be read by clinicians." --Medical Humanities Review "[A] major new work in biomedical ethics....The reasoning is rigorous and the writing clear....In each case, the facts are presented and then pertinent questions are raised, analyzed, and summarized according to the pluralistic model of conflicting appeals....Each reader will undoubtedly take exception to one or another case resolution--and that, the author anticipates, is to be expected. After all, a complex moral theory capable of providing guidance in the resolution of complex medical problems must be open to continued modification. But if this new model, when put to use, in fact helps to resolve hard cases, it will recommend itself. The proof of the pudding is in the eating." --The New England Journal of Medicine "Thorough and compelling. A valuable addition to the continuing debate and of interest to all concerned, both professionals and general readers." --Choice "Baruch Brody's book. . . could not have been written at a better time. Many will be sympathetic to his rejection of ethical 'monisms' and the tyranny of principles they impose on the complexity of real moral 'dilemmas'." --Hastings Center Report "A well written exploration of medical ethics that is challenging and informative." --British Medical Journal-- "Brody makes an important contribution to that literature." --Bioethics-- "Unusually rich in diversity, these cases are often poignantly credible examples of the confusion and uncertainty of decision-making in real life. Coupled with the author's sensible and sensitive applications of his theoretical model, these provocative case studies should make the book a valuable resource for classroom or community group." --Concern for Dying Newsletter "

1: The Need for a Moral Theory 2: Major Ethical Appeals 3: Two Standard Models: Their Strengths and Weaknesses 4: The Model of Conflicting Appeals 5: Cases Involving Competent Adults 6: Cases Involving Incompetent Adults 7: Cases Involving Children

ISBN: 9780195050073
ISBN-10: 019505007X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 274
Published: 3rd March 1988
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.58