Approaches bioethics on the basis of a conception of life and what is needed for the affirmation of its quality in the most encompassing sense. Johnson applies this conception to discussions of controversial issues in bioethics including euthanasia, abortion, cloning and genetic engineering. His emphasis is not on providing definitive solutions to all bioethical issues but on developing an approach to coping with them that can also help us deal with new issues as they emerge. The foundation of this discussion is an extensive examination of the nature of the self and its good and of various approaches to ethics. His bioethic is integrally related to his well-known work on environmental philosophy. The book also applies these principles on an individual level, offering a user-friendly discussion of how to deal with ethical slippery slopes and how and where to draw the line when dealing with difficult questions of bioethics.
Lawrence E. Johnson is an affiliate research fellow in the humanities at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. He has also taught at West Virginia University and Flinders University. His articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals, including International Logic Review, the Review of Metaphysics, Environmental Ethics, the Monash Bioethics Review and the Journal of Natural History, and he has also contributed to several literary journals.
Introduction; Part I. Backgrounds: 2. Some background: self and reason; 3. Some background: approaches to ethics; 4. Some background: our good; 5. Elusive lines, slippery slopes, and moral principles; Part II. Life, Death, and Bioethics: 6. Being alive; 7. Being healthy; 8. Health and virtue; 9. Death and life; 10. Drawing lines with death; 11. Double effect: euthanasia, and proportionality; 12. Abortion; 13. The gene I: the mystique; 14. The gene II: manipulation; 15. Ethics and biomedical research; 16. Bioethics seen in an eastern light; 17. Toward a wider view.