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Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond


Part of Cambridge Bioethics and Law

  • Date Published: June 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107424784

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About the Authors
  • In times of global economic and political crises, the notion of solidarity is gaining new currency. This book argues that a solidarity-based perspective can help us to find new ways to address pressing problems. Exemplified by three case studies from the field of biomedicine: databases for health and disease research, personalised healthcare, and organ donation, it explores how solidarity can make a difference in how we frame problems, and in the policy solutions that we can offer.

    • Proposes a new understanding of 'solidarity as practice'
    • Offers a systematic overview of the use of the term 'solidarity' in bioethical and related political and social theoretical scholarship
    • Explores how solidarity can be applied to biomedical practice using three case studies: health databases, personalised health care, and organ donation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'At a challenging political moment, Barbara Prainsack and Alena Buyx offer an approach to bioethics based on an appeal to solidarity as a core guiding concept. Their account is both descriptive and prescriptive, grounded firmly in practice. Moving beyond an unproductive dichotomy between personal and common benefit, their book promises an alternative to the impoverished accounts of human connectedness informed only by the logic of the market. The authors reveal the limits of an exclusive, ritualistic focus on autonomy-based health policies, offering a productive way forward.' Barbara Koenig, Director of Bioethics, University of California, San Francisco

    'Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond effectively takes on and combines two complex issues of our times. How ought we best understand the idea of human solidarity in the face of cultural trends that separate and often badly divide us? And how best to bring that understanding to bear on the great challenges, for good or ill, of the rapid and consequential changes for health care of progress in genetics and other rapidly changing technologies? Prainsack and Buyx' insights and careful analysis take us a long way down a winding modern road into the future.' Daniel Callahan, President Emeritus, The Hastings Center, New York

    'All those interested in the (re)design of the legal and regulatory frameworks applying to biomedicine and wider fields will need to grapple with the timely, original, and valuable ideas set forth in this book.' Mark Flear, Medical Law Review

    'The authors set out to clarify the concept of solidarity in connection with related concepts such as friendship, love, reciprocity, responsibility, and dignity. But they achieved much more, namely to explain the inner functioning of the moral system of society. They did this by combining a broad spectrum of philosophical and sociological work in a virtuosic manner.' Christoph Rehmann Sutter, University of Lübeck, Germany

    'Prainsack and Buyx advance a detailed conceptual framework and put forward practical recommendations for solidarity-based governance in biomedicine.' Katherine Weatherford Darling, New Genetics and Society

    'Solidarity in Biomedicine and Beyond is a brilliant book - one that will be referred to again and again by bioethicists, policymakers, regulators, and academics across a variety of disciplines. It capably builds on their 2011 Nuffield Council on Bioethics report, and signals the birth of a fully fleshed out and vital ethical concept and practice. After reading this book, one may well feel inclined to conclude that this is an old 'new' ethical principle that should be increasingly instantiated in our individual, social, and political lives.' Edward S. Dove, SCRIPTed

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107424784
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Solidarity. A brief history of a concept, and a project
    Part I. Theorising Solidarity:
    2. Solidarity - intellectual background and important themes
    3. What is solidarity?
    4. Solidarity - normative approaches
    Part II. Solidarity in Practice:
    5. Solidarity in practice I: governing health databases
    6. Solidarity in practice II: personalised medicine and health care
    7. Solidarity and organ donation
    Part III. Conclusions:
    8. Solidarity with whom? Conclusions and ways forward.

  • Authors

    Barbara Prainsack, King's College London
    Barbara Prainsack is a Professor at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College London. Her work looks at social, ethical and regulatory aspects of bioscience and biomedicine, often giving a voice to alternative or marginalised perspectives. She is a member of the National Bioethics Council in Austria, and the Ethics Group at the UK National DNA Database.

    Alena Buyx, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, Germany
    Alena Buyx is Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Co-Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany. She works in biomedical, research and public health ethics, directing several bioethics research projects, and providing local, national and international research and clinical ethics advice. Dr Buyx is a member of the German Ethics Council.

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