In this book Paul Carrick charts the ancient Greek and Roman foundations of Western medical ethics. Surveying 1500 years of pre-Christian medical moral history, Carrick applies insights from ancient medical ethics to developments in contemporary medicine such as advance directives, gene therapy, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, and surrogate motherhood. He discusses such timeless issues as the social status of the physician; attitudes toward dying and death; and the relationship of medicine to philosophy, religion, and popular morality. Opinions of a wide range of ancient thinkers are consulted, including physicians, poets, philosophers, and patients. He also explores the puzzling question of Hippocrates' identity, analyzing not only the Hippocratic Oath but also the Father of Medicine's lesser-known works.
Complete with chapter discussion questions, illustrations, a map, and appendices of ethical codes, Medical Ethics in the Ancient World will be useful in courses on the medical humanities, ancient philosophy, bioethics, comparative cultures, and the history of medicine. Accessible to both professionals and to those with little background in medical philosophy or ancient science, Carrick's book demonstrates that in the ancient world, as in our own postmodern age, physicians, philosophers, and patients embraced a diverse array of perspectives on the most fundamental questions of life and death.
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