Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

Bioethics: An introduction for the biosciences

By: Ben Mepham

450 pages, 40 figures

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Mar 2008 | #169569 | ISBN-13: 9780199214303
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £28.99 $35/€33 approx

About this book

Bioethical issues remain front-page news, with debate continuing to rage over issues including genetic modification, animal cloning, and 'designer babies'. With public opinion often driven by media speculation, how can we ensure that informed decisions regarding key bioethical issues are made in a reasoned, objective way?

Bioethics: An Introduction for the Biosciences offers a balanced, objective introduction to the field of bioethics, ideal for any biosciences student who is new to the subject. With a focus on developing the students' power of reasoning and judgement, the book presents different perspectives to common themes in an impartial way, fostering debate and discussion.

The opening section, 'The Ethical Groundwork', introduces students to the nature of bioethics and ethical theory. The book goes on to lead students through a broad range of bioethical issues relating to people, animals, and food, before concluding with an overview of bioethics in practice.

... the work is very powerful ... and stands as a prominent landmark for the work of all educators in biology. Alastair Land in Journal of Biological Education It is an excellent introduction to the subject for biosciences students: clear, comprehensive, relevant, fair-minded and even-handed, obviously written by a skilled teacher with a mature understanding of current developments and thinking in both science and ethics. The text is studded with thought-provoking facts and telling quotations and the author's ethical matrix meshes well with the detailed contents of the chapters on specific topics. Professor Kenneth M Boyd, Biomedical Teaching Organisation, University of Edinburgh Ben Mepham is to be congratulated on producing a very readable text covering such a variety of topics in bioethics. I would recommend this text to tutors and final year undergraduate bioscience students as both an introduction to the concepts of bioethics and in providing further depth and points for discursive thought. Joyce Overfield, School of Biology, Chemistry and Health Science, Manchester Metropolitan University I am impressed with Mepham's knowledge of bioethics and his ability to articulately and intelligently communicate that knowledge to introductory students. His logical, objective approach in discussing a subject that is widely misunderstood, and often feared, is timely and important. I can think of no other textbook that I would rather have in the classroom when asking students to leave their opinions, biases, and intellectual baggage at the door and consider bioethics in a meaningful, thoughtful, and substantive manner. Jason Johnstone-Yellin, University of Idaho, USA


1. THE THEORETICAL BACKGROUND TO BIOETHICS; 1. The nature of bioethics; 2. Theories of ethics; 3. A framework for ethical analysis; 2. BIOETHICS AND HUMAN FUTURES; 4. The biology of poverty; 5. Fertility and morality; 6. Genomics, eugenics and integrity; 3. BIOETHICS AND ANIMALS; 7. Human uses of animals; 8. Experiments on animals; 9. Animals and modern biotechnology; 4. BIOETHICS, PLANTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT; 10. The first generation of genetically modified crops; 11. Dietary futures; 12. Environmental sustainability; 5. BIOETHICS IN PRACTICE; 13. Risk, precaution and trust; 14. Politics and the biosciences; 15. Bioethics in the laboratory

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