Main Image

About the Book

Bioethics and the Law

Front Cover - Bioethics and the Law

Third Edition

Janet Dolgin, Hofstra University
Lois Shepherd, University of Virginia

2013.  960 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-1076-6.

With Teacherís Manual.

About the Book

Bioethics and the Law takes a multidisciplinary approach that combines legal discussion with jurisprudential, philosophical, and sociological materials. Strong expressions of different points of view highlight debates about bioethical issues. The text underscores the need to mediate between the law's focus on broad rules and the bioethicist's concern with context and detail. Students are required to consider the ethical implications of health care as a business, face the shifting parameters of the provider/patient relationship in healthcare, and understand the role of government in designing and implementing healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. Bioethics and the Law supplements the traditional focus of bioethics on the interest of the individual with a second focus on the socio-economic developments that shape healthcare. Connecting broad public healthcare issues to concerns of the individual patient/healthcare consumer, the text promotes understanding of unsettling and complex situations and shows the implications of bioethical developments for understandings of personhood. A helpful glossary defines basic terms and several short appendices summarize recent developments in science and technology.

The Third Edition offers in-depth examination of new questions and debates among health care professionals, lawyers, and bioethicists. Separate sections are devoted to issues related to individuals and those related primarily to communities. A significantly expanded discussion of access to health care explores the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the debate about its constitutionality as well as new material on the social determinants of health and global health ethics. A new chapter on privacy and essentialism focuses on bioethical questions occasioned by genetic information and neuroimaging. There is new consideration of discrimination in health care as well as new material on its business aspects. 


Hallmark features of Bioethics and the Law:

  • multidisciplinary approach combines legal discussion with jurisprudential, philosophical, and sociological materials
  • strong expressions of different points of view 
  • shows the need to mediate the discontinuity between the law's focus on broad rules and the bioethicist's concern with context and detail
  • explicitly requires students to consider ethical implications: 
  • health care as a business 
  • shifting parameters of the provider/patient relationship in healthcare 
  • the role of government in designing and implementing healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare
  • supplements traditional focus on the ethical interest of the individual with a second focus on the socio-economic developments that shape healthcare 
  • connects broad public healthcare issues to concerns of patient/healthcare consumer 
  • promotes understanding of unsettling, complex situations
  • underscores bioethical developments for understandings of personhood 
  • glossary defines basic terms 
  • short appendices summarize recent developments in science and technology 
  • Teacher's Manual 
  • answers to the problems and questions in the text
  • alternative modes of using the book 

Thoroughly updated, the revised Third Edition presents:

  • in-depth examination of new questions and debates among health care professionals, lawyers, and bioethicists
  • separate sections on issues related to individuals and those related to communities
  • significantly expanded discussion of access to health care 
  • the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and debate about its constitutionality 
  • new material on the social determinants of health and global health ethics
  • a new chapter on privacy and essentialism, focusing on bioethical questions around genetic information and neuroimaging
  • consideration of discrimination in health care
  • new material on the business aspects of health care