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    METHODS IN MEDICAL ETHICS: Critical Perspectives

    By: Tom Tomlinson

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    Over the last several decades, bioethicists have championed a bewildering variety of methods for understanding and resolving difficult ethical problems in medicine, including: principlism, wide reflective equilibrium, casuistry, feminism, virtue theory, narrative, and others. Much of this advocacy overlooks the limitations of the favored method, and also neglects the strengths found in alternative approaches. Tom Tomlinson systematically uncovers and evaluates both the strengths and limits of a variety of ethical tools, and in so doing develops a comprehensive appreciation of the roles that various methods can play in deepening our understanding of ethical problems in medicine, and in supporting well-grounded judgments about what to do. He critically evaluates each method to identify both limits and advantages, which he then illustrates through discussion of specific cases and controversies. Tomlinson not only demonstrates that there is no single method adequate to the task, but tries to develop an informed eclecticism that knows how to pick the right tool for the right job. All those engaged in thinking about bioethical theories will find Tomlinson's work important reading.

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