Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies
  • Publication Date: June 28, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813575 / 1554813573
  • 400 pages; 6½" x 9"

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Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies

  • Publication Date: June 28, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813575 / 1554813573
  • 400 pages; 6½" x 9"

This book focuses on American health care ethics and law; if you’re looking for a health care ethics text with a Canadian focus, you might want to consider Readings in Health Care Ethics 2e or Well and Good 4e.

Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies is a case-based introduction to ethical issues in health care. Through seventy-eight compelling scenarios, the authors demonstrate the practical importance of ethics, showing how the concerns at issue bear on the lives of patients, health-care providers, and others. Many central topics are covered, including informed consent, medical futility, reproductive ethics, privacy, cultural competence, and clinical trials. Each chapter includes a selection of important legal cases as well as clinical case studies for critical analysis. The case studies are often presented as moral dilemmas and are conducive to rich discussion. A companion website offers a curated collection of relevant legal precedents along with additional case studies and other resources.

Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies can be used on its own, or packaged with Bioethics in Context for a discounted price. Please contact for more information.


“This richly detailed collection of clinical and legal cases brings bioethics and jurisprudence to life. Readers will learn exactly how ethical and legal deliberation occurs in clinical environments. A multitude of realistic cases are followed by discussion questions. This book is ideal for bioethics professors and clinical instructors alike; the authors’ analyses are sophisticated, clear, concise, and accessible.” — Denise M. Dudzinski, Department of Bioethics & Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine

Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies is an outstanding contribution to the academic literature. Joseph P. DeMarco and Gary E. Jones cover the most significant issues of contemporary bioethics in a way that is highly accessible to the beginning student while still preserving the depth and complexity of the issues. Cases have been carefully selected to effectively reinforce the main themes of each topic. The emphasis on both morality and law appropriately reveals the interconnectedness of bioethical issues to both spheres, a feat rarely accomplished in this field. Cheers to DeMarco and Jones for delivering such effective, high-quality pedagogical material at an affordable price.” — Samuel LiPuma, Cuyahoga Community College


Chapter 1: Moral Theory in Bioethics

  • Consequentialism and Deontology
    • Consequentialism
      Kantian Deontology
      Rule Theory
      Case Study: Dr. Mando
  • Alternative Approaches
    • Principlism
      Virtue Ethics
      Feminist Ethics and the Ethics of Care
  • Do We Have a Moral Obligation to Obey the Law?

Chapter 2: Informed Consent

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Canterbury v. Spence
      II. Jandre v. Bullis
      III. Gorab v. Zook
  • Case Studies
    • IV. Emergency-Room Deliberation after a Critical Monocycle Accident
      V. Protection for a “Decisionally Incapable” Patient
      VI. Patient Coerced into additional Physical Therapy
      VII. Unwanted Procedure during Surgery
      VIII. Elderly Man Denied Informed Consent
      IX. HIV Patient: Confidentiality Hampering Informed Consent

Chapter 3: Assessing Capacity

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Lane v. Candura
      II. Morinaga v. See Vue
      lll. In Re Conservatorship of Pamela J.
  • Case Studies
    • IV. Decisional Capacity and Brain Surgery

      V. Dementia and Decisional Capacity
      VI. Capacity after a Motorcycle Accident

Chapter 4: Informed Refusal of Treatment

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Cruzan v. Director
      II. Vacco and Washington Cases
      III. Carter v. Canada
  • Case Studies
    • IV. The Last Day of Her Life
      V. Family Conflict: To Treat or Not to Treat?
      VII. Family Supports a Child’s Rejection of Treatment
      VIII. Patient Fails to Show up for Treatment
      IX. Assisting Death
      X. Terminal Sedation: Is it Death?

Chapter 5: Medical Futility

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Futile Treatment of a Newborn?
      II. Physician’s Right to Withhold Treatment
  • Case Studies
    • III. Doctor Orders Aggressive Treatment; Nurse Objects
      IV. Appropriate CPR?
      V. Lake Erie Tragedy
      VI. Heart Failure, Excessive Weight, and CPR
      VII. A Family Fights for a Patient’s Life

Chapter 6: Nursing Ethics

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Lunsford and Tuma Cases
      II. Rogers and Mathias Cases
      III. Monahan and Morvillo Cases
      IV. Hoffman and Ross Cases
  • Case Studies
    • V. Does the Nurse Know Better?
      VI. Potentially Violent Patient
      VII. Traditional Practice and Child Abuse
      VIII. Nurse Refuses to Administer Pain Medication

Chapter 7: Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Tarasoff v Regents of the University of California
      II. Reisner and Jarmie Cases
      III. Nasser v. Parker
      IV. Horne v. Patton
  • Case Studies
    • VI. Disclosing HIV
      VII. Children Having Babies
      VIII. Betrayal by a Physician?
      IX. Dr. Dorchester’s Curiosity
      X. Student Kills his Classmate: Is His Psychologist at Fault?

Chapter 8: Cultural Competence

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Commonwealth v. Schaible
      II. Quintero v. Encarnacion
      III. Quintanilla v. Dunkelmen
  • Case Studies
    • IV. An Infant in a Persistent Vegetative State
      V. Elder Abuse?
      VI. An Amish Couple Refuses Treatment for Their Infant Daughter
      VII. Newly Arrived Immigrant and Adherence to Treatment
      VIII. Three Wives

Chapter 9: Human Reproduction

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. Roe and Casey Cases
    • II. Becker v. Chessin
    • III. K.M. v E.G.
    • IV. Szafranski v. Dunston
  • Case Studies
    • I. Sterilization of a Developmentally Delayed Child
    • II. Doubts about Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis
    • III. Human Cloning
    • IV. Abortion Advice

Chapter 10: Clinical Trials

  • Introduction
  • Legal Cases
    • I. Suthers, et al v. Amgen, Inc.
    • II. Cacchillo v. Insmed, Inc.
  • Case Studies
    • I. Mr. Rosewald’s Decision
    • II. An Incidental Finding from a Brain Scan
    • III. Was it Morally Appropriate to Stop Cancer Trial?
    • IV. Dr. Rife’s Conflict of Interest

Chapter 11: Transplantation Ethics

  • Introduction
    Legal Cases
    • I. McFall v. Shrimp
    • II. Strunk and Pescinski Cases
    • III. Hart v. Brown
  • Case Studies
    • I. Drug Dealer Wants a New Heart
    • II. Transplantation and Blood Products
    • III. Coerced Donation

Appendix: Basic Law

The American Legal System

  • Common Law
    Statutory Law
    Executive Orders and Agencies
    Constitutional Law
    Criminal and Civil Law

Index of Legal Cases

Joseph P. DeMarco is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Cleveland State University.

Gary E. Jones is Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego and a member of the California Bar Association.

  • — 78 compelling cases, ideal for highlighting key issues and provoking student discussion
  • — 11 chapters, covering the basics of moral theory and the central topics of health care ethics
  • — Each chapter include a selection of important legal cases as well as clinical cases studies
  • — A companion website, free with the book, offers a curated selection of relevant legal cases and state codes as well as additional case studies and other resources

For Chapter Two: Informed Consent from Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies, click here. (Opens as PDF.)

This book has a companion website containing useful additional material for students, general readers, and practitioners of bioethics. It includes:

  • • A comprehensive collection of over 200 legal cases; these cases will be especially useful to those who wish to examine a specific topic in greater detail for the purposes of a paper or other research project
  • • Selected and edited bioethics state codes for each of the 50 states
  • • An “Ethics Digest” containing encyclopedic entries on additional topics in ethical theory and bioethics, such as prima facie duties and social contract theory
  • • A collection of interactive case studies in which the reader analyzes realistic scenarios through a series of multiple choice questions
  • • PowerPoint slides highlighting key concepts and themes

Access to this website is included free with every new copy of Bioethics: Legal and Clinical Case Studies. Access can also be purchased separately here.

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