(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 392 pp. isbn 9780199589555 (hbk). $100.00. John Keown’s excellent book The Law and Ethics of Medicine is primarily the work of a lawyer and is written with lawyers and judges in mind; yet few books on the law of medicine are as conversant in important topics of contemporary ethics, especially questions of double effect, the nature of the human act, and the value of human life. Indeed, one consistent theme in Keown’s book is that deep confusions about these issues run through both legal judgments and legal theory as they relate to contemporary medicine. Keown’s aim in lem is to rehabilitate a particular view that he calls the Inviolability of Life ( iol ) view. It would understate the case to say that the iol is infrequently invoked in contemporary medicine. But the decline which the iol suffered in the 20 th century is in part explained by the errors made by its critics in their articulation of the view with which they were disagreeing. So Keown intends to set the record straight both as to what the iol is all about, and as to how its critics (and sometimes its sympathizers and
Journal of Moral Philosophy – Brill
Published: Mar 21, 2015
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