2nd Edition

Engaging Bioethics An Introduction With Case Studies

By Gary Seay, Susana Nuccetelli Copyright 2023
    478 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    478 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Presuming readers start with no background in philosophy, this enhanced introduction to bioethics first provides balanced, philosophically based coverage of moral reasoning, moral theories, and the law. It then leads the newly equipped reader to explore a range of important ethical issues in health care and biomedical research.

    Engaging Bioethics, Second Edition is designed for undergraduates throughout the humanities and social sciences as well as for healthcare professionals-in-training, including students in medical school, pre-medicine, nursing, public health, and those studying to assist physicians in various capacities. Along with coverage of standard bioethical issues—such as vaccination, access to health care, new reproductive technologies, genetics, research on human and animal subjects, abortion, medical confidentiality, and disclosure—it now addresses ethical aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v Jackson decision, use of CRISPR for human gene editing, and the expansion of medically assisted death globally.

    Key Features

    • Flexibility for the instructor, with chapters that can be read independently and in an order that fits the course structure
    • Integration with case studies and primary sources
    • Attention to issues of gender, race, cultural diversity, and justice in health care
    • Pedagogical features to help instructors and students
    • A companion website (www.routledge.com/cw/seay) with a virtual anthology linking to key primary sources, a test bank, topics for papers, and PowerPoints for lectures and class discussion

    Key Updates to the Second Edition

    • An expanded treatment of vaccination ethics
    • A new chapter wholly devoted to the tools of moral thinking
    • Additional topics on the patient–healthcare professional relationship such as social nudging in health care and public health, and the limits of beneficence in connection with the burnout of frontline healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic
    • New, up-to-date cases and questions for further discussion throughout the chapters
    • Updated learning objectives and overviews for each chapter

    Part I: Bioethics: Its Nature, Methods and Relation to Ethics

    1. From Vaccination Ethics to Bioethics and Ethics
    2. The Tools of Ethical Inquiry
    3. Philosophical Accounts of Morality
    4. Principle-Oriented and Case-Oriented Bioethics

    Part II: The Patient–Healthcare Professional Relationship

    5. Managing Personal Medical Information
    6. Consent with Competence and Without

    Part III: Moral Issues at the End of Life

    7. Death and Dying
    8. When Life Supports Are Futile or Refused
    9. Medically Assisted Death
    10. End-of-Life Measures for Severely Compromised Newborns

    Part IV: Moral Issues at the Beginning of Life

    11. Morality and the Law in the Typical Case of Abortion
    12. Morality and the Law in Hard Cases of Abortion
    13. New Reproductive Technologies

    Part V: Medicine and Society

    14. The Genetic Revolution
    15. Biomedical Research on Animals
    16. Biomedical Research on Humans
    17. Justice in Health Care


    Gary Seay is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. He is co-author of a logic book, co-editor of two ethics volumes, and the author of several journal articles. He has served on the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Philosophy and Medicine and was consulting bioethicist on the Ethics Committee of the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens.

    Susana Nuccetelli is Professor of Philosophy at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Her articles in many areas of ethics, including bioethics, have appeared in edited volumes and journals. Her recent books are The Routledge Guidebook to Moore's Principia Ethica (Routledge, 2022) and An Introduction to Latin American Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

    "Seay and Nuccetelli have done an admirable job at distilling and making accessible a large body of medical information, complex case law, and philosophical ethics. Their text makes the project of developing competence and understanding in bioethics a lot less daunting, without simplifying the philosophical and scientific issues. The book is organized so that instructors can easily design a course around a subset of the topics covered, and its teaching and learning resources are outstanding. This is the best bioethics textbook I am aware of, for students and teachers alike."
    Brandon Cooke, Professor & Chair (Philosophy), Minnesota State University, Mankato

    "This is a concise introduction to bioethics that covers a lot of ground. The chapters are sufficiently self-contained so that the text can be adapted to different course designs, and the boxes and figures throughout are helpful learning aids. Important cases are discussed but don’t dominate the discussion, so the emphasis remains on the philosophical arguments and issues."
    William A. Bauer, North Carolina State University

    "Seay and Nuccetelli offer a refreshing and bold approach to bioethics that confronts readers directly, requiring them to intimately wrestle with the most pressing issues through numerous case studies and a nuanced analysis of the core concepts and principles. The authors strike a delicate balance between accessibility and depth, with the results being a text that is eminently readable. This is not easy material, but the authors have created a text open to readers with little or no philosophical background without sacrificing the complexity found in these important discussions. They also offer an expansive and up-to-date sourcebook to find primary sources online in the companion website."
    Scott O’Leary, University of Saint Mary