Synopses & Reviews
Setting out the implications of the postmodern condition for medical ethics, Troubled Bodies
challenges the contemporary paradigms of medical ethics and reconceptualizes the nature of the field. Drawing on recent developments in philosophy, philosophy of science, and feminist theory, this volume seeks to expand familiar ethical reflections on medicine to incorporate new ways of thinking about the body and the dilemmas raised by recent developments in medical techniques.
These essays examine the ways in which the consideration of ethical questions is shaped by the structures of knowledge and communication at work in clinical practice, by current assumptions regarding the concept of the body, and by the social and political implications of both. Representing various perspectives including medicine, nursing, philosophy, and sociology, these essays look anew at issues of abortion, reproductive technologies, the doctor-patient relationship, the social construction of illness, the cultural assumptions and consequences of medicine, and the theoretical presuppositions underlying modern psychiatry. Diverging from the tenets of mainstream bioethics, Troubled Bodies suggests that, rather than searching for the correct "coherent perspective" from which to draw ethical principles, we must apprehend the complexity and diversity of the discursive systems within which we dwell.
"The approach taken by these essays to the problem of the body by way of matters and debates in medical ethics is certainly instructive and productive. Troubled Bodies presents an excellent introduction to the philosophical and cultural settings of a postmodern medical ethics."—Mark Seltzer, Cornell University
"Troubled Bodies draws on philosophical developments that question the reigning paradigms in ethics and, accordingly, will open new avenues as it reimagines the very nature of medical ethics."—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
About the Author
Paul A. Komesaroff is Executive Director, Eleanor Shaw Centre for the Study of Medicine, Society, and Law, Baker Medical Research Institute, Australia