Ethno Ethnic Traditions

Another body of work presents various religious, ethnic, or cultural perspectives on bioethics (e.g., Ellerby, McKenzie, McKay, Gariepy, & Kaufert, 2000). This work is less empirical and more theoretical in orientation. While one may find entire books devoted to Jewish bioethics or Muslim bioethics, for instance, these do not necessarily problematize the value systems of a religion or present the religious systems within a broader cultural context. Both A Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Health Care Ethics (Coward & Ratanakul, 1999), and Transcultural Dimensions in Medical Ethics (Pellegrino, Mazzarella, & Corsi, 1992) provide excellent collections of papers comparing religious (e.g., Jewish, Islam, Buddhist) and cultural (e.g., Thai, Indian) developing world views about health care ethics and health policy issues from a cross-cultural perspective. These texts fall within a larger group of handbooks written by non-anthropologists and designed to guide health professionals in providing culturally competent care. Anthropologists are debating the value of these books and the casual use of the word "culture" therein.

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