BioethicsA Philosophical Introduction
A Philosophical Introduction, 2nd Edition
This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to contemporary bioethics. It also presents provocative, philosophically informed arguments on current bioethical issues. Holland engages with debates ranging from the more familiar – such as euthanasia, advance decisions to refuse treatment, and new reproductive technologies – to the philosophical implications of recent developments in genetics, including prenatal genetic therapy, genetic enhancement and human cloning. The book is built around four crucial themes. The first is moral status: what are the implications of the moral status of human embryos or animals for our biomedical practices? The second theme – life, death and killing – looks at the ethics of ending, or failing to lengthen, human life. Holland then explores various questions of personal identity raised in contemporary bioethical debates. Finally, he presents and develops a version of the argument from nature – which continues to be influential in bioethics – in order to make sense of the objection that some biomedical innovations are ‘unnatural’. Structuring the discussions in this way creates an engaging introduction to bioethics that is an ideal textbook for students whilst offering much to stimulate colleagues in the field.
This second edition has been thoroughly and comprehensively updated to reflect the most recent advances in bioethics, and includes an entirely new chapter on the ethical treatment of patients in the minimally conscious state.
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  • January 2017
  • 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9780745690599
  • Paperback $29.95
  • 9780745690605
  • Open eBook $29.95
  • 9780745690636
Table of Contents


Part I: Moral Status

Introduction to Part I

Chapter 1: Stem Cell Research and Therapy

Chapter 2: Xenotransplantation

Part I: Concluding Remarks

Part II: Life, Death and Killing

Introduction to Part II

Chapter 3: The Value of Life

Chapter 4: What is Death?

Chapter 5: Killing versus Letting Die

Part II: Concluding Remarks

Part III: Personal Identity

Introduction to Part III

Chapter 6: Prenatal Genetic Intervention

Chapter 7: Advance Care Planning

Chapter 8: The Minimally Conscious State

Part III: Concluding Remarks

Part IV: The Normativity of the ‘Natural’

Introduction to Part IV

Chapter 9: Managing Reproduction

Chapter 10: Genetic Enhancement

Chapter 11: Human Cloning

Part IV: Concluding Remarks

Concluding Remark: Deontic Constraints on Biomedicine



About the Author
Stephen Holland is Reader in the Departments of Philosophy and Health Sciences at the University of York.
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'Stephen Holland’s Bioethics has become established as the best one-volume introduction to philosophical bioethics. I recommend it warmly to students of philosophy and bioethics, but the general reader will also find it enjoyable and accessible. I am delighted to welcome its second edition.’
Richard Ashcroft, Queen Mary University of London

‘Anyone wishing to get their bearings on the fundamental philosophical questions about moral status, personal identity, life, death, killing, and appeals to nature, that underlie issues in bioethics, should start with Stephen Holland’s book. It is an excellent, balanced work that introduces bioethics in the way that it should be introduced, that is, with some philosophical depth.’
John P. Lizza, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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