This volume illustrates the central importance of diversity of human values throughout healthcare. The readings are organized around the main stages of the clinical encounter from the patient's perspective. They run from staying well and 'first contact' through to either recovery or long-term illness, death, and dying. An introductory section opens up crucial issues of methodology and of practical application in this highly innovative approach to the role of ethics in healthcare. The contributions include selections from literature and poetry, canonical and newly commissioned articles, and first-hand narrative by patients, care givers, and professionals. The readings speak volumes to the diversity of human values operative in healthcare. This volume as a whole conveys the message that these values are far more diverse than any of us normally recognize. Raising awareness of this diversity is the first step to developing a practically effective healthcare ethics.