1st Edition

A Virtue-Based Defense of Perinatal Hospice

By Aaron D. Cobb Copyright 2020
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    Perinatal hospice is a novel form of care for an unborn child who has been diagnosed with a significantly life-limiting condition. In this book, Aaron D. Cobb develops a virtue-based defense of the value of perinatal hospice. He characterizes its promotion and provision as a common project of individuals, local communities, and institutions working together to provide exemplary care. Engaging with important themes from the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Robert Adams, he shows how perinatal hospice manifests virtues crucial to meeting the needs of families in these difficult circumstances. As a work of applied virtue ethics, this book has important normative, social, and political implications for the creation and development of structured programs of care. It grounds the view that communities ought (i) to devote resources to ensure that these programs are widely available and (ii) to develop social structures that promote awareness of and accessibility to these forms of care. A Virtue-Based Defense of Perinatal Hospice will be of interest to philosophers working in bioethics and applied virtue ethics, as well as scholars in the fields of neonatology, nursing, palliative and hospice care, and counseling who are interested in the study of perinatal hospice.

    1. Toward a Virtue-Based Defense of Perinatal Hospice

    2. Virtue, Acknowledged Dependence, and Common Projects of Care

    3. Life-Limiting Diagnoses and the Virtue of Hospitality

    4. Futility and the Virtue of Hope

    5. Isolation and the Virtue of Solidarity

    6. Grief and the Virtue of Compassion

    7. Virtuous Projects of Social, Structural, and Institutional Reform


    Aaron D. Cobb is associate professor of philosophy at Auburn University at Montgomery. His recent scholarship has focused on moral and intellectual virtues. He is the author of Loving Samuel: Suffering, Dependence, and the Calling of Love, a philosophical and theological memoir on the life and death of his son.

    "This is a well-organized personal and philosophical argument for palliative care following an adverse prenatal diagnosis. Cobb, a professor of philosophy, here defends the provision of hospitality, solidarity, compassion, and hope through a specialized hospice program. He compares and contrasts divergent views on the moral status of the unborn, reproductive autonomy, and supportive care. And he includes very difficult and detailed discussions of ethical perspectives, offering definitions, extensive footnotes, and references. The book will be most helpful to students of nursing, social work, and counseling. Summing Up: Recommended" CHOICE Reviews

    "Aaron Cobb’s book makes a twofold contribution: to our understanding of the value and virtues of perinatal hospice, and to contemporary moral theory. His personal experience as a father and professional vocation as a philosopher together provide uncommon insight."Bernard Prusak, King’s College (PA), USA

    "Aaron Cobb’s A Virtue-Based Defense of Perinatal Hospice is a fascinating book. His examination of perinatal palliative and hospice care is excellent. His appropriation of virtue ethics and the notions of exemplary persons and communities, as well as his focus on the needs of the entire family, are very helpful. The book deals with a variety of important moral and existential issues that arise in such situations, and in light of its approach to them it deserves both a wide reading and widespread reflective application." — Michael W. Austin, Eastern Kentucky University, USA