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2 - A Philosopher Looks at ‘Law and Medical Ethics’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2021

Edward S. Dove
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Niamh Nic Shuibhne
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

This chapter considers the role of textbooks in constituting the field of medical jurisprudence or ‘law and medical ethics’. This inquiry helps us to understand the importance of Graeme Laurie’s work as the author of Law and Medical Ethics, a leading textbook in this field. The chapter begins by considering the relationship between scholarship and research in academic work in general terms. It then moves to a particular consideration of the nature of the field of medical jurisprudence, and how this arose out of deliberate assemblage by some early scholars in the emerging field of pre-existing legal materials and other academic resources. It focuses especially on the relationship between law and ethics, arguing against an understanding of ethics as a theoretical foundation for law and in favour of seeing principles as emerging through the practice of the common law. It concludes by discussing how textbooks give shape to this material, in the form of what Thomas Kuhn called a ‘paradigm’. In this way, they are essential tools of shaping and passing on the legacy of the field of ‘law and medical ethics’.

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Chapter
Information
Law and Legacy in Medical Jurisprudence
Essays in Honour of Graeme Laurie
, pp. 43 - 61
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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