Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J.
From decisions about the end of life to choices about the creation of life and, more recently, questions concerning the cost and accessibility of health care, bioethics is a field characterized by vigorous and sometimes rancorous public debate. Indeed, the moral controversies and dilemmas of medicine and health care often propel bioethics into newspaper headlines and onto television talk shows.
Moral Acquaintances: Methodology in Bioethics / is not part of the standard repertory of books that explore and offer guidance on a particular issue in bioethics. The question Kevin Wm. Wildes poses is not what we can do morally in a field of great moral controversy, but how we can conceive the controversy and seek a moral course of action.
Wildes argues that the methodological issues in bioethics mirror the experience of moral pluralism in a secular society. The different methods that have been used in the field reflect the different moral views found in a pluralistic society. Rather than assume that there is only one method for all or that we are lost in moral pluralism, Wildes argues that we can imagine ourselves instead as _moral acquaintances. _The key to understanding this acquaintanceship is to understand the procedures that bind us together plus the moral justifications of and assumptions for those procedures.