Current Controversies in Bioethics  book cover
1st Edition

Current Controversies in Bioethics

ISBN 9780367872755
Published December 10, 2019 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Bioethics is the study of ethical issues arising out of advances in the life sciences and medicine. Historically, bioethics has been associated with issues in research ethics and clinical ethics as a result of research scandals such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and public debates about the definition of death, medical paternalism, health care rationing, and abortion. As biomedical technologies have advanced, challenging new questions have arisen for bioethics and new sub-disciplines such as neuroethics and public health ethics have entered the scene. This volume features ten original essays on five cutting-edge controversies in bioethics written by leading philosophers.

I. Research Ethics: How Should We Justify Ancillary Care Duties?

II. Clinical Ethics: Are Psychopaths Morally Accountable?

III. Reproductive Ethics: Is There A Solution to the Non-Identity Problem?

IV. Neuroethics: What is Addiction and Does It Excuse?

V. Public Health Ethics: Is Luck Egalitarianism Implausibly Harsh?

S. Matthew Liao and Collin O’Neil’s concise introduction to the essays in the volume, the annotated bibliographies and study questions for each controversy, and the supplemental guide to additional current controversies in bioethics give the reader a broad grasp of the different kinds of challenges in bioethics.

Table of Contents



Bioethics: Current Controversies

S. Matthew Liao and Collin O’Neil


Part I

Research Ethics: How Should We Justify Ancillary Care Duties?

  1. Locating Medical Researchers’ Ancillary-Care Obligations within the Division of Moral Labor

  2. Henry S. Richardson

  3. The Grounds of Ancillary Care Duties

  4. S. Matthew Liao and Collin O’Neil

    Part I Suggested Readings

    Part II

    Clinical Ethics: Are Psychopaths Morally Accountable?

  5. Fine Cuts of Moral Agency: Dissociable Deficits in Psychopathy and Autism

  6. Dana Kay Nelkin

  7. Holding Psychopaths Responsible and the Guise of the Good

  8. Agnieszka Jaworska

    Part II Suggested Readings


    Part III

    Reproductive Ethics: Is There a Solution to the Non-Identity Problem?

  9. Dividing and Conquering the Nonidentity Problem

  10. Melinda A. Roberts and David T. Wasserman

  11. The Nonidentity Problem: United and Unconquered

  12. Saul Smilansky

    Part III Suggested Readings


    Part IV

    Neuroethics: What Is Addiction and Does It Excuse?

  13. Addiction, Habits, and Blame

  14. Timothy Schroeder and Nomy Arpaly

  15. How Addicts Lose Control

  16. Neil Levy

    Part IV Suggested Readings


    Part V

    Public Health Ethics: Is Luck Egalitarianism Implausibly Harsh?


  17. Rarely Harsh and Always Fair: Luck Egalitarianism and Unhealthy Choices

  18. Zofia Stemplowska

  19. Luck Egalitarianism, Harshness, and the Rule of Res

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S. Matthew Liao is Arthur Zitrin Professor of Bioethics, Director of the Center for Bioethics, and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy, New York University. He is the author or editor of The Right to Be Loved (2015) and Moral Brains: The Neuroscience of Morality (2016), and co-edited Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (2015). He has been featured in the New York Times and other media outlets and is the Editor in Chief for the Journal of Moral Philosophy.

Collin O’Neil is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lehman College, City University of New York. His recent publications have appeared in Philosophy & Public Affairs, American Journal of Bioethics, and Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics.


"This book is admirably distinctive in the literature on bioethics. It is selective in addressing only five issues, each drawn from a different area of bioethics and discussed in a pair of contrasting essays. The issues are not only of great practical importance but also intellectually difficult. They demand engagement with matters of moral theory and require the most advanced understanding of relevant empirical material. The authors – all philosophers of distinction – abundantly satisfy these requirements, while also presenting their carefully-developed arguments in writing that is both lucid and accessible. The editors have done their work extremely well."

--Jeff McMahan, University of Oxford