Tod Chambers suggests that literary theory is a crucial component in the complete understanding of bioethics. "The Fiction of Bioethics" explores the medical case study and distills the idea that bioethicists study real-life cases, while philosophers contemplate fictional accounts.
Chambers argues that case studies ethicists use are in fact, fiction, and thus follow representations of perception. Literary theory can inform and provide an important angle for the ethicist attempting to discern meaning from case studies. This book examines literary conventions including point of view, plot, characterization and authorship, to demonstrate the significance of fiction in bioethical case studies.
"In "The Fiction of Bioethics, Tod Chambers provides a much-needed model for a more relexive bioethics. Applying the instrument of rhetorical analysis to a careful reading of some classic ethics cases, he reveals the literary methods philosophers regularly use to persuade both authors and audience. . .[his work] is an important contribution to what can now become a continuing rigorous criticism of bioethics' most privileged communications. With Chambers' help, something is beginning to happen to the way we think about cases." --Martha Montello, Univ. of Kansas School of Medicine for "Literature and Medicine 19, no. 2 (Fall 2000)."
"Tod Chambers' readings of medical narratives offer a fresh and refreshing vision of illness and healing. He shows how our reconstructions of the cases, in whatever form, ultimately transforms the way we see them. After reading his analyses and learning to see as he sees, things will never look quite the same again
-John Lantos, Robert Wood JohnsonClinical Scholars Program, University of Chicago Hospitals
"When Chambers debunks 'the myth that there are any clear unmediated presentations of moral problems' and urges bioethicists to 'acknowledge that their selection of relevant facts is itself guided by their philosophical perspectives', he is surely right - and no one to my knowledge has ever made that case more effectively."
--David Barnard, "Medical Humanities Review