Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, MACP Publications

Below are links to several of the renowned works of Edmund D. Pellegrino, MD, MACP, Founder of PCCB that can be found online.

African American Bioethics: Culture, Race, and Identity (2007)

Lawrence J. Prograis, Jr. and Edmund D. Pellegrino, Eds.

Do people of differing ethnicities, cultures, and races view medicine and bioethics differently? And, if they do, should they? Are doctors and researchers taking environmental perspectives into account when dealing with patients? If so, is it done effectively and properly? 

In African American Bioethics, Lawrence J. Prograis Jr. and Edmund D. Pellegrino bring together medical practitioners, researchers, and theorists to assess one fundamental question: Is there a distinctive African American bioethics? 

The book's contributors resoundingly answer yes—yet their responses vary. They discuss the continuing African American experience with bioethics in the context of religion and tradition, work, health, and U.S. society at large—finding enough commonality to craft a deep and compelling case for locating a black bioethical framework within the broader practice, yet recognizing profound nuances within that framework. 

As a more recent addition to the study of bioethics, cultural considerations have been playing catch-up for nearly two decades. African American Bioethics does much to advance the field by exploring how medicine and ethics accommodate differing cultural and racial norms, suggesting profound implications for growing minority groups in the United States.

Available from Georgetown University Press (print and ebook).

 

African-American Perspectives on Biomedical Ethics (1992)

Harley E. Flack and Edmund D. Pellegrino, Eds.

By analyzing the amalgam of Greek philosophy, Jewish and Christian teachings, and secular humanism that composes our dominant ethical system, the authors of this volume explore the question of whether or not Western and non-Western moral values can be commingled without bilateral loss of cultural integrity. They take as their philosophical point of departure the observation that both ethical relativism and ethical absolutism have become morally indefensible in the context of the multicultural American life, and they variously consider the need for an ethical middle ground.

Available from Georgetown University Press.

 

Biotechnology and the Human Good (2007)

Ben C. Mitchell, Edmund D. Pellegrino, Jean Bethke Eishtain, John F. Kilner, and Scott B. Rae

Some of humankind's greatest tools have been forged in the research laboratory. Who could argue that medical advances like antibiotics, blood transfusions, and pacemakers have not improved the quality of people's lives? But with each new technological breakthrough there comes an array of consequences, at once predicted and unpredictable, beneficial and hazardous. 

Outcry over recent developments in the reproductive and genetic sciences has revealed deep fissures in society's perception of biotechnical progress. Many are concerned that reckless technological development, driven by consumerist impulses and greedy entrepreneurialism, has the potential to radically shift the human condition—and not for the greater good. Biotechnology and the Human Good builds a case for a stewardship deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian theism to responsibly interpret and assess new technologies in a way that answers this concern. 

The authors jointly recognize humans not as autonomous beings but as ones accountable to each other, to the world they live in, and to God. They argue that to question and critique how fields like cybernetics, nanotechnology, and genetics might affect our future is not anti-science, anti-industry, or anti-progress, but rather a way to promote human flourishing, common sense, and good stewardship. 

A synthetic work drawing on the thought of a physician, ethicists, and a theologian,Biotechnology and the Human Good reminds us that although technology is a powerful and often awe-inspiring tool, it is what lies in the heart and soul of who wields this tool that truly makes the difference in our world.

Available from Georgetown University Press (print and ebook).

 

The Christian Virtues in Medical Practice (1996)

Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma

Christian health care professionals in our secular and pluralistic society often face uncertainty about the place religious faith holds in today's medical practice. Through an examination of a virtue-based ethics, this book proposes a theological view of medical ethics that helps the Christian physician reconcile faith, reason, and professional duty.

Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma trace the history of virtue in moral thought, and they examine current debate about a virtue ethic's place in contemporary bioethics. Their proposal balances theological ethics, based on the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, with contemporary medical ethics, based on the principles of beneficence, justice, and autonomy. The result is a theory of clinical ethics that centers on the virtue of charity and is manifest in practical moral decisions.

Using Christian bioethical principles, the authors address today's divisive issues in medicine. For health care providers and all those involved in the fields of ethics and religion, this volume shows how faith and reason can combine to create the best possible healing relationship between health care professional and patient.

Available from Georgetown University Press  and Amazon (ebook).

 

Ethics, Trust, and the Professions: Philosophical and Cultural Aspects (1991)

Edmund D. Pellegrino, Robert M. Veatch, and John P. Langan, SJ

The essays in Ethics, Trust, and the Professions probe the nature of the fiduciary relationship that binds client to lawyer, believer to minister, and patient to doctor. Angles of approach include history, sociology, philosophy, and culture, and their very multiplicity reveals how difficult we find it to formulate a code of ethics which will insure a relationship of trust between the professional and the public.

Available from Georgetown University Press.

 

For the Patient's Good: The Restoration of Beneficence in Health Care (1995)

Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma

In this companion volume to their 1981 work, A Philosophical Basis of Medical Practice, Pellegrino and Thomasma examine the principle of beneficence and its role in the practice of medicine. Their analysis, which is grounded in a thorough-going philosophy of medicine, addresses a wide array of practical and ethical concerns that are a part of health care decision-making today. Among these issues are the withdrawing and withholding of nutrition and hydration, competency assessment, the requirements for valid surrogate decision-making, quality-of-life determinations, the allocation of scarce health care resources, medical gatekeeping, and for-profit medicine. The authors argue for the restoration of beneficence (re-interpreted as beneficence-in-trust) to its place as the fundamental principle of medical ethics. They maintain that to be guided by beneficence a physician must perform a right and good healing action which is consonant with the individual patient's values. In order to act in the patient's best interests, or the patient's good, the physician and patient must discern what that good is. This knowledge is gained only through a process of dialogue between patient and/or family and physician which respects and honors the patient's autonomous self-understanding and choice in the matter of treatment options. This emphasis on a dialogical discernment of the patient's good rejects the assumption long held in medicine that what is considered to be the medical good is necessarily the good for this patient. In viewing autonomy as a necessary condition of beneficence, the authors move beyond a trend in the medical ethics literature which identifies beneficence with paternalism. In their analysis of beneficence, the authors reject the current emphasis on rights- and duty-based ethical systems in favor of a virtue-based theory which is grounded in the physician-patient relationship. This book's provocative contributions to medical ethics will be of great interest not only to physicians and other health professionals, but also to ethicists, students, patients, families, and all others concerned with the relationship of professional to patient and patient to professional in health care today.

Available from Oxford University Press.

 

Helping and Healing: Religious Commitment in Health Care (1997)

Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma

Exploring the moral foundations of the healing relationship, Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma offer the health care professional a highly readable Christian philosophy of medicine. This book examines the influence religious beliefs have on the kind of person the health professional should be, on the health care policies a society should adopt, and on what constitutes healing in its fullest sense.

Helping and Healing looks at the ways a religious perspective shapes the healing relationship and the ethics of that relationship. Pellegrino and Thomasma seek to clarify the role of religious belief in health care by providing a moral basis for such commitment as well as a balancing role for reason. This book establishes a common ground for believers and skeptics alike in their dedication to relieve suffering by showing that helping and healing require an involvement in the religious values of patients. It clearly argues that religion provides crucial insights into medical practice and morality that cannot be ignored, even in our morally heterogeneous society.

Central to the authors' message is the concept of patients' vulnerabilities and the need to help them recover not only from the disease but also from an existential assault on their personhood. They then show how this understanding can move caregivers to view their professions as vocations and thereby change the nature of health care from a business to a community of healing.

Physicians, nurses, administrators, clergy, theologians, and other health professionals and church leaders will find this volume helpful for their own reflections on the role of religion in the health care ministry and for making a religious commitment integral to their professional lives.

Available from Georgetown University Press and Amazon (ebook).

 

Jewish and Catholic Bioethics: An Ecumenical Dialogue (2000)

Edmund D. Pellegrino and Alan I. Faden, Eds.

Drawing on multiple interconnected scriptural and spiritual sources, the Jewish tradition of ethical reflection is intricate and nuanced. This book presents scholarly Jewish perspectives on suffering, healing, life, and death, and it compares them with contemporary Christian and secular views.

The Jewish perspectives presented in this book are mainly those of orthodox scholars, with the responses representing primarily Christian-Catholic points of view. Readers unfamiliar with the Jewish tradition will find here a practical introduction to its major voices, from Spinoza to Jewish religious law. The contributors explore such issues as active and passive euthanasia, abortion, assisted reproduction, genetic screening, and health care delivery.

Offering a thoughtful and thought-provoking dialogue between Jewish and Christian scholars, Jewish and Catholic Bioethics is an important contribution to ecumenical understanding in the realm of health care.

Available from Georgetown University Press and Amazon (ebook).

 

The Virtues in Medical Practice (1993)

Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma

In recent years, virtue theories have enjoyed a renaissance of interest among general and medical ethicists. This book offers a virtue-based ethic for medicine, the health professions, and health care. Beginning with a historical account of the concept of virtue, the authors construct a theory of the place of the virtues in medical practice. Their theory is grounded in the nature and ends of medicine as a special kind of human activity. The concepts of virtue, the virtues, and the virtuous physician are examined along with the place of the virtues of trust, compassion, prudence, justice, courage, temperance, and effacement of self-interest in medicine. The authors discuss the relationship between and among principles, rules, virtues, and the philosophy of medicine. They also address the difference virtue-based ethics makes in confronting such practical problems as care of the poor, research with human subjects, and the conduct of the healing relationship. This book with the author's previous volumes, A Philosophical Basis of Medical Practice and For the Patient's Good, are part of their continuing project of developing a coherent moral philosophy of medicine.

Available from Oxford University Press.

 

Collected Works of Dr. Edmund D. Pellegrino

A database of 681 of Dr. Pellegrino's journal articles, book chapters, lectures and monographs devoted to medical ethics, bioethics, and his philosophical reflections on the physician-patient relationship.

Available to the Georgetown University community via the Bioethics Research Library Website, DigitalGeorgetown.