Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

  • J. Thomas CookEmail author


The power and prestige of modern medicine impose a special obligation on medical professionals to practice their art in a morally responsible way. Ethical theories, ancient and modern, address the basis of morality and offer guidance for decision-making. This chapter focuses on consequentialist and deontological theories of ethics in their application to the practice of medicine. The discussion includes the (relatively recent) rise of the specialized field of “applied bio-medical ethics.” In this context we consider the effort to condense the insights of ethical theories to concisely stated “principles” which can be used as analytical tools for decision making.


Medical ethics Virtue Consequentialism Utilitarianism Deontology Rights Duty Principles Non-maleficence Harm Beneficence Autonomy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyRollins CollegeWinter ParkUSA

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