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Issues in Bioethics and the Concept of Scale

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William Cook

Issues in Bioethics and the Concept of Scale arose from the author’s deep and committed interest in ecology, moral philosophy, and medicine, and how they are interrelated. William A. Cook expands on the recognition that spatial and temporal scale characteristics are factors in the understanding and modeling of ecological systems and in decision-making around ecological and environmental issues, and introduces this dynamic to the field of bioethics. The concept of scale, from hierarchy theory as it is used in ecology to deal with the complexity and interrelationships of systems, is explored and identified as a factor and potential source of conflict in the field of bioethics. This notion of scale is conceptually useful for considering the complexity of some bioethical issues.