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  1. John Portmann (ed.) (2003). In Defense of Sin. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Intriguing, and occasionally unsettling, In Defense of Sin is a refreshingly frank exploration of some real facts of life. Portmann gathers an on-target collection of great writers on transgressions large and small. Read about defenses for promiscuity, greed, deceit, gossip, lust, breaking the golden rule, and more--and use this unusual guide to decide for yourself if sin has a place in our contemporary, and virtually unshockable, society. Provocative and illuminating, this book may change how you think about sin, morality, and (...)
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  2. John Portmann (2002). Response to ???Autonomy as Scapegoat in the Organ Shortage Debate: A Reply to Portmann??? By T. L. Zutlevics. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 11 (1):73-75.
    T. L. Zutlevics has written a thoughtful response to my piece on the anxiety borne of cutting bodies. I am grateful for this opportunity to turn back to the pressing problem of organ shortages.
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  3. John Portmann (2000). A Sentimental Patient. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 9 (01):17-22.
    Today's Zeitgeist dictates that physicians not only care for their patients, but also care deeply about them. According to a recent article in a prominent journal, It may well be that the Zeitgeist says more about how we feel as potential patients than what we actually expect of physicians. Nonetheless, this Zeitgeist poses an important problem for the physician who cares for a sentimental patient. here describes a contrived exaggeration of the emotional availability of physicians. Despite the impossibility of articulating (...)
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  4. John Portmann (2000). When Bad Things Happen to Other People. Routledge.
    Although many of us deny it, it is not uncommon to feel pleasure over the suffering of others, particularly when we feel that suffering has been deserved. The German word for this concept- Schadenfreude -has become universal in its expression of this feeling. Drawing on the teachings of history's most prominent philosophers, John Portmann explores the concept of Schadenfreude in this rigorous, comprehensive, and absorbing study. Citing examples from literature and popular culture-from the works of Toni Morrison, Umberto Eco and (...)
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  5. John Portmann (1999). Abortion: Three Rival Versions of Suffering. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (04):489-497.
    Kant postulates in TheMetaphysicsofMorals that we share a moral duty to sympathize actively in the suffering of another and to cultivate the virtue of compassion. More recently, Howard Brody has claimed that a good physician must maintain in her imagination What does it mean to take suffering seriously in the context of abortion? It means that a physician must listen to three rival versions of suffering: that of a woman who has inquired about an abortion, that of her fetus, and (...)
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  6. John Portmann (1999). Cutting Bodies to Harvest Organs. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 8 (03):288-298.
    Reverence for the autonomy of patients dominates healthcare ethics in the United States. Such reverence emblematizes personal freedom, a cherished American ideal.
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