Bioethics and the Human Goods offers students and general listeners a brief introduction to bioethics from a "natural law" philosophical perspective. This perspective, which traces its origins to classical antiquity, has profoundly shaped Western ethics and law and is enjoying an exciting renaissance. While compatible with much in the ethical thought of the great religions, it is grounded in reason, not religion.
The book is divided into two sections: Foundations and Issues. Foundations sketches a natural law understanding of the important ethical principles of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice and explores different understandings of "personhood" and whether human embryos are persons. Issues applies a natural law perspective to some of the most controversial debates in contemporary bioethics at the beginning and end of life: research on human embryos, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the withdrawal of tube-feeding from patients in a "persistent vegetative state", and the definition of death.
The text is completed by appendixes featuring personal statements by Alfonso Gomez-Lobo on the status of the human embryo and on the definition and determination of death.
"A valuable resource in our efforts to shape law and public policy in line with central truths about right and wrong." (Robert P. George, Princeton University)
"Alfonso Gomez-Lobo was probably the best representative of natural law ethics that I have had the privilege of knowing. Bioethics and the Human Goods lays out the essential elements of this tradition before engaging a host of issues in bioethics, particularly around the beginning and end of human life. While disagreeing with much of the vision presented here, I cannot help admiring its moral seriousness, intelligence, and coherence." (David DeGrazia, George Washington University)
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