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Suffering and Bioethics

Ronald M. Green and Nathan J. Palpant


Despite its venerated traditional place in medicine, the relief of patients’ suffering has often taken a back seat in modern biomedical research and treatment. To suffering’s many forms—epidemics, premature death, painful disease conditions, and prolonged dying—there often seems to be only one obvious response today: increase research on disease and its causes, and translate this research as soon as possible into effective clinical therapies. Modern bioethics, too, has been slow to come to terms with suffering. Recent literature reveals an increase in the number of conflicting inclinations whe ... More

Keywords: suffering, bioethics, assisted reproductive technology, prenatal testing, genomic intervention, pharmacological human enhancement, end-of-life care, physician-assisted suicide, euthanasia, medicalization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199926176
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926176.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ronald M. Green, editor
Department of Religion, Dartmouth College

Nathan J. Palpant, editor
Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

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Suffering and Bioethics:

Ronald M. Green and Nathan J. Palpant

Part One The Nature, Meaning, and Experience of Suffering

2 Understanding Suffering

Barry Hoffmaster

3 Paying Homage to the Silence of Suffering

Gordon D. Marino and Susan E. Marino*

Part Two Suffering in Biology

6 Biology of Suffering

Daniel Krashin, Natalia Murinova, Catherine Q. Howe, and Jane C. Ballantyne

Part Three Suffering in Policy and Law

8 Individual and Social Callousness toward Human Suffering

Daniel B. Hinshaw, Peter D. Jacobson, and Marisa P. Weisel

Part Four Religious Perspectives on Suffering and Medicine

11 Suffering:

Lisa Sowle Cahill

12 The Orthodox Christian View of Suffering

H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.

14 Suffering:

Laurie Zoloth

Part Five Suffering in the Ethics of Contemporary Medicine and Biotechnology

Part Six Concluding Thoughts

22 The Evil of Suffering

Ronald M. Green

End Matter