Author(s): Jonsen AR
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Abstract KIE: In this review essay, Jonsen is concerned with the relationship between theory and practice in bioethics, a concern he finds reflected in three recent books: the third edition of Principles of Biomedical Ethics, by T. Beauchamp and J. Childress (Oxford University Press; 1989); Moral Theory and Moral Judgments in Medical Ethics, edited by B. Brody (Kluwer Academic; 1988); and Theory and Practice in Medical Ethics, by G.C. Graber and D.C. Thomasma (Continuum; 1989). Jonsen questions the contemporary presumption that "theory is an inseparable companion to practice," arguing that the role, function, and meaning of ethical theory are not clear. He predicts increasing debate between "philosophers" who seek to formulate theory that might be applied to practice, and "casuists" who find theory an obstacle to practical resolution of medical dilemmas.
This article was published in Hastings Cent Rep
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics