This short textbook of ethics and law is aimed at doctors in training and in practice. Medical ethics and law are now firmly embedded in the curricula of medical schools. The ability to make clinical decisions on the basis of critical reasoning is a skill that is rightly presumed as necessary in today's doctors. Medical decisions involve not only scientific understanding but also ethical values and legal analysis. The belief that it is ethically right to act in one way rather than another should be based on good reasons: it is not enough to follow what doctors have always done, nor what experienced doctors now do.
The third edition has been revised and updated to reflect changes in the core curriculum for students, developments in the law as well as advances in medicine and technology. It includes a new ‘extensions’ section, providing an outline of important developing areas in medical ethics.
- The first part of the book covers the foundations of ethics and law in the context of medicine.
- The second part covers specific core topics that are essential for health professionals to understand.
- The third section of the book includes new chapters on cutting edge topics that will be crucial for the doctors and health professionals of tomorrow.
- This new edition includes a new third section that provides an extension to the core curriculum focused on four key emerging topics in medical ethics – neuroethics, genethics, information ethics and public health ethics.
- The chapters on Consent, Capacity and Mental Health Law have been extensively revised to reflect changes in legislation. Chapters on confidentiality and information ethics contain new sections relating to information technology, sharing information and breaching confidentiality.
- Each chapter contains case examples drawn from personal experience or from the media.
- This edition also includes cartoons to highlight cutting edge and topical issues.
- Most chapters include revision questions and an extension case to encourage readers who are interested in a topic to explore further.
Part 1: Foundations
1. Reasoning about ethics.
2. Ethical theories and perspectives.
3. Three core concepts in medical ethics - best interests, autonomy and rights.
4. An introduction to law.
5. Doctors and patients: relationships and responsibilities.
Part 2: Core topics
8. Mental Health
10. Resource allocation
11. Children and young people
12. Disability and disease
13. Reproductive medicine
14. End of Life
15. Organ transplantation and definitions of death
16. Medical Research and audit
Part 3: Extensions
19. Information ethics
20. Public health ethics