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September 23, 1988

Medical Ethics: A Guide for Health Professionals

Author Affiliations

Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health

Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health


edited by John F. Monagle and David C. Thomasma, 522 pages, $49.50, Rockville, Md, Aspen Publications Inc, 1988.

JAMA. 1988;260(12):1793-1794. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410120139050

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The field of medical ethics has broadened and matured over the past decade. Early discourse has focused on abortion, human experimentation, death and dying, and principles of biomedical ethics such as autonomy, beneficence, and paternalism. More recently, medical ethics has moved beyond individual patient care issues to include social, economic, and political issues and the principles of justice and fairness.

Medical Ethics: A Guide for Health Professionals is an example of the new generation of books. The text is bold and ambitious and addresses topics at the cutting edge of contemporary medical ethics. The editors are John Monagle, a bioethicist and expert in risk management, and David Thomasma, a widely published philosopher and theologian. The text consists of 38 previously unpublished essays by 44 authors, including physicians, philosophers, lawyers, theologians, administrators, and humanists. Some argue a specific ethical position while others present balanced, multifaceted discussions.

The book covers clinical issues