Ep. 50 Thieves of Virtue: How Bioethics Stole Medicine

Tom Koch, PhD

Did bioethics emerge to defend the interests of patients or to rationalize the needs and actions of the state and its corporate allies?  Are bioethicists too complacent about their grasp of economics?  Do they have sufficient understanding of the complexities of medical decisions to weigh in on them? Are Hippocratic ethics so inadequate that they needed to be replaced by ever-morphing “Kantian” ethics?  A fascinating discussion with our guest, Tom Koch, a man whose resumé and whose many books read like great adventure stories.

Professor Koch is an author, journalist, historian, philosopher, and educator. He holds an inter-disciplinary PhD in medical cartography, ethics and medicine  He has taught medical ethics to medical students at the University of Toronto.  He is a consultant in gerontology.  And he has written numerous books both for an academic audience as well as for the general public.  His books include Cartographies of Disease, Ethics in Everyday Places, The Wreck of the William Brown, and the volume that will be the focus of our discussion today, Thieves of Virtue: When Bioethics Stole Medicine.


Tom Koch, PhD.  Website


Tom Koch.  Thieves of Virtue: When Bioethics Stole Medicine.  MIT Press. 2011 (Amazon link)

Tom Koch. Ethics in Everyday Places: Mapping Moral Stress, Distress, and Injury.  MIT Press. 2017 (Amazon Link)


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