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Book and Media Reviews
March 19, 2008

The Ethics of Bioethics: Mapping the Moral Landscape

JAMA. 2008;299(11):1370-1371. doi:10.1001/jama.299.11.1370

Without question, The Ethics of Bioethics is a must-read for all persons involved with bioethics. This well-written, well-organized paperback seeks to analyze the many facets of ethics in the field of bioethics. Several authors discuss the issue of a code of ethics for bioethics, provide the reader with insight and background on the debate, and explain the rationale that has led to a lack of any such code. Furthermore, authors discuss many important considerations for those who “practice bioethics” or who lead institutions that employ bioethicists. Topics range from the obligations of hospital-based clinical ethics consultants and those of research ethics consultants employed by private industry to issues of mentorship and obligations to society. The chapters provide a clear background to help the reader understand the current status of the field, wherein the authors criticize bioethicists, institutions, and organizations when appropriate.