On a book page, this tab will allow you to add a book to one of your lists.
Please login or register to use this feature.
9780262017985_cover Enlarge Cover
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.75 USD
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
category: Medical
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780262017985
publisher: The MIT Press

Thieves of Virtue

When Bioethics Stole Medicine

by Tom Koch

reviews: 0
tagged:
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.
ethics, biomedical
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.75 USD
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
category: Medical
published: Sep 2012
ISBN:9780262017985
publisher: The MIT Press
Description

An argument against the “lifeboat ethic” of contemporary bioethics that views medicine as a commodity rather than a tradition of care and caring.

Bioethics emerged in the 1960s from a conviction that physicians and researchers needed the guidance of philosophers in handling the issues raised by technological advances in medicine. It blossomed as a response to the perceived doctor-knows-best paternalism of the traditional medical ethic and today plays a critical role in health policies and treatment decisions. Bioethics claimed to offer a set of generally applicable, universally accepted guidelines that would simplify complex situations. In Thieves of Virtue, Tom Koch contends that bioethics has failed to deliver on its promises. Instead, he argues, bioethics has promoted a view of medicine as a commodity whose delivery is predicated not on care but on economic efficiency.

At the heart of bioethics, Koch writes, is a “lifeboat ethic” that assumes “scarcity” of medical resources is a natural condition rather than the result of prior economic, political, and social choices. The idea of natural scarcity requiring ethical triage signaled a shift in ethical emphasis from patient care and the physician's responsibility for it to neoliberal accountancies and the promotion of research as the preeminent good.

The solution to the failure of bioethics is not a new set of simplistic principles. Koch points the way to a transformed medical ethics that is humanist, responsible, and defensible.

About the Author
Tom Koch is Adjunct Professor of Medical Geography at the University of British Columbia, a consultant in ethics and gerontology at Alton Medical Centre, Toronto, and Director of Information Outreach, Ltd. He is the author of fourteen previous books, including Thieves of Virtue: When Bioethics Stole Medicine (MIT Press).
Author profile page >
Editorial Reviews

Koch's book is thought provoking and raises important issues….valuable critique of dominant bioethics theories.

Review of Politics


A brilliant and insightful critique.

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons


I'm overwhelmingly impressed by Thieves of Virtue. I've been worrying about the direction that bioethics has taken over the years, and Koch's book has put this into words much better than anyone I know. A remarkable piece of work.

Harry R. Moody, Vice President and Director of Academic Affairs, AAR


Koch provides and interesting history of bioethics.

London School of Economics Review of Books


An important book….a robust, refreshing and informed reflection….grippingly readable.

Social History of Medicine

Buy the e-book:

Reader Reviews

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.

Other Titles by Tom Koch

Ethics in Everyday Places

Ethics in Everyday Places

Mapping Moral Stress, Distress, and Injury
edition:Hardcover
More Info
Cartographies of Disease

Cartographies of Disease

Maps, Mapping, and Medicine, new expanded edition
edition:Paperback
More Info

Second Chances

Crisis And Renewal In Our Everyday Lives
edition:Paperback
tagged : behaviorism
More Info

User Activity

X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...