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To Fix or to HealPatient Care, Public Health, and the Limits of Biomedicine$
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Joseph E. Davis and Ana Marta Gonzalez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479878246

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479878246.001.0001

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The Dominion of Medicine

The Dominion of Medicine

Bioethics, the Human Sciences, and the Humanities

(p.263) 10 The Dominion of Medicine
To Fix or to Heal

Jeffrey P. Bishop

NYU Press

Bishop locates the early origins of bioethics in theological critiques of reductionist medicine in the works of Joseph Fletcher, Paul Ramsey, and Richard McCormick. He argues that these critiques were quickly diluted; in an attempt to grow more influential, they became less oppositional. The end result was a new bioethics of principlism, which was from the beginning a concession to the language and ends of biomedicine. Given such subservient origins, it is unsurprising that principlism has never been able to direct medical discourse or govern medical practice. Subsequent holistic efforts from the social sciences and humanities have attempted merely to reform and govern the practice of medicine, not to redefine it. In Bishop’s view, if bioethics is ever to become a strong counter-balancing force to biomedicine, it must recover a critique that starts from different premises.

Keywords:   Joseph Fletcher, Paul Ramsey, Richard McCormick, bioethics, history of bioethics, principlism, biopsychosocial model, medical humanities

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