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This book provides a clear and stimulating introduction to bioethics. It is also a comprehensive and illuminating study of some of the most important themes of our times. From the more familiar debates on euthanasia, living wills and new reproductive technologies such as IVF, Holland guides the reader through the philosophical implications of recent developments in genetics such as prenatal genetic therapy, genetic enhancement and human cloning. The book is built around four important themes. First, the nature of moral status: do human embryos have moral status? Do animals? What are the implications for bioethics of the moral status of such creatures? The second theme life, death and killing looks at the ethics of ending human life, or of failing to lengthen it as long as possible. Holland then explores the question of personal identity as it connects with contemporary bioethical problems. Finally, he presents and develops a version of the argument from nature which continues to be influential in bioethics in order to try to make sense of the objection that some biomedical innovations are unnatural .
By structuring the discussions in this way the author succeeds in creating a clear, engagingly written introduction to bioethics that will be an ideal textbook for students.
Stephen Holland is a Lecturer in Philosophy and Health Sciences at University of York.
"Stephen Holland takes us beyond sound–bites and media hype. In an analytically rigorous and engaging way, he links questions of euthanasia, embryo experimentation and xenotransplantation to such philosophical issues as moral status and personal identity. The subject badly needs contributions of this kind. Holland's book will be welcomed by all those who want to gain a deeper understanding of a subject of enormous complexity."Helga Kuhse Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University
"This refreshing approach to bioethics fills a significant gap in the literature by structuring discussion around four deontological themes. A must for everyone who wants to understand and think clearly about nonconsequentialist bioethics, this book engages with issues at the forefront of contemporary debate." Ruth Chadwick, ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Lancaster University