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November 27, 1996

The Foundations of Bioethics

Author Affiliations

Georgia State University Atlanta

JAMA. 1996;276(20):1685-1686. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540200071036

The first edition of Engelhardt's bioethics text was published in 1986. It was an excellent and influential text of nearly 400 pages. The second edition is almost 50 pages longer with a smaller typeface; it, too, is an excellent book and promises to be as influential as its predecessor.

Engelhardt's purposes in writing a second edition are threefold. First, he wants to update various discussions in the text. Second, he believes that some of the positions he staked out in the first edition were misunderstood and that this led to a number of criticisms of his earlier work. With this in mind, he wants to clarify his earlier views. Finally, he wants to improve upon his earlier work by offering a more complete justification for "a moral framework by which individuals who belong to diverse moral communities, who do not share a contentfull moral vision, can still regard themselves bound

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