Philosophical Examination of the History and Values of Western Medicine

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The study's central thesis is that medicine reflects better than any other discipline the ethical crises of our age and that these are the natural result of the schism between "facts" and "values" brought about at the time of the scientific revolution. It offers a brief introduction to the philosophical history of medicine, argues that current ethical theory rests upon a fallacy of abstraction, calls for a more realistic appraisal of ethical responsibility, and challenges the notion that ethics is necessarily more "subjective" than science. Examines the role of ethics in medical education, managing ethical issues in health-care delivery systems, medical economics, abortion, and sexually transmissible diseases, giving special attention to the realities of ethical responsibility in each case.


"... an attempt to balance the scale of fact-value distinction, terribly off set at present by the one-sided pursuit of scientific objectivity. To this end, Sharkey's work stands as a very worthwhile contribution to the literature and will benefit both health care professionals and bioethicists." - Leemon B. McHenry

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