Book Review of "Introduction To Medical Ethics"
M Said Maani Takrouri
M Said Maani Takrouri. Book Review of "Introduction To Medical Ethics". The Internet Journal of Health. 2007 Volume 7 Number 2.
The author of this book is Professor Mohammed Al-Saleh Ben-Ammar. Chairman of anesthesia and intensive care in Al-Munji Sleem University Hospital-Tunis. Tunisia. He is also member of Tunisian medical bioethics Committee. The book titled, “Introduction to Medical Ethics”  focuses on current international and hot topics of introduction to medical ethics. The audience intended for this title is basically; the medical students, the medical practitioners and other health personnel. The title is important for Arabic health workers readers as it is increasingly recognized as increased demands on advanced medical technology throughout the world. A health worker has to adapt to changes in patient diversities and multicultural patients in the time of globalization, which may be very challenging to do on an individual basis.
This introduction to medical ethics comes in response to increased desire to get in depth knowledge of Physician - patient relationship regardless of technical aspects. We are witnessing that the relationship is more complicated and far from just giving therapy and relief ailments. It is far from merely medical science application. The relationship between patient and therapist is not only in various controversial issues like the start of life and end of life, organ transplantations and end of life care, But it is related to patient autonomy, dignity and consent.
The book has ten chapters and three appendices. It is well referenced to English and French languages. .
This book explains the various ethnical aspects regarding general principles of: Patient Dignity, Autonomy, Mercy, Nom benevolence. It fall into ten titled chapters: Fundamental ethical principles of medical practice, Dignity, Consent, Physician in society, Medical ethics education, Bioethics in research, Life and death start and end points, Ethics of organ donations, Medicine and modern technology and last chapter on medicine and Islam.
This wealth of topics although not completely new to Arabic societies put it looks like a deeper focus on universal modern bioethics. It is new addition to the intended health workers in Arab World and exposes the reader to the international views on these topics. The reason for last chapter on medicine and Islam is an explanatory chapter indicating that there is no contradiction between Islam and modern view and bioethics. It would be valuable to indicates similar views in regards other major religions since there are Arabs with non Islamic faith and there are patient coming to Arab world for business of tourism from all corners of the worlds and the treating physician and other health workers should have good orientations about their specific spiritual and bioethical specific needs.
Overall the book offers a sound basis for a comprehensive overview of the topic of bioethics in modern medicine. The addressed group of medical student would make it a basic reading with proper citation for focused reference for self learner students especially useful. Numerous times in the chapters there are summary boxes provided to help the reader digest the key points covered over a particular section of a chapter.
It is hoped that in the second edition, some areas that the book could have included that would be useful too from the perspective of different religions and cultures. This should include other major religions bioethical stands. Also, being published in Tunisia it is important to include some specific regarding view of numerous traditional religions or cultures in North Africa and Africa.
The reader is not guided on policies and procedures implementation in particular to autonomy, consent and end of life care.. There are important works on competent and non competent patient and who should take dicision on their behalf. Also, it is important to discuss under this issue women consents in the Arabic societies and African Geographic area. Although Tunisia has developed very liberal and modern laws to give an edge for women the situation is not well understood in the rest of other similar countries. The research in the field of bioethics in Arabic speaking book are coming in abundance in English scholarly journals and may be in the next edition such researches may constitute an evidence based information regarding these important issues.. This is a very valid approach for a scholarly book.
In conclusion, readers will enjoy reading the book with its many topics. This book is a useful introduction to bioethics of medicine and will stimulate practitioners and researchers to pursue more in depth the presented important topic.
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