Document Detail

Against medical ethics: opening the can of worms.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9549676     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In a controversial paper, David Seedhouse argues that medical ethics is not and cannot be a distinct discipline with it own field of study. He derives this claim from a characterization of ethics, which he states but does not defend. He claims further that the project of medical ethics as it exists and of moral philosophy do not overlap. I show that Seedhouse's views on ethics have wide implications which he does not declare, and in the light of this argue that Seedhouse owes us a defence of his characterization of ethics. Further, I show that his characterization of ethics, which he uses to attack medical ethics, is a committed position within moral philosophy. As a consequence of this, it does not allow the relation between moral philosophy and medical ethics to be discussed without prejudice to its outcome. Finally, I explore the relation between Seedhouse's position and naturalism, and its implications for medical epistemology. I argue that this shows us that Seedhouse's position, if it can be defended, is likely to lead to a fruitful and important line of inquiry which reconnects philosophy and medical ethics.
J Cassell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comment; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical ethics     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0306-6800     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Ethics     Publication Date:  1998 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-06-26     Completed Date:  1998-06-26     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7513619     Medline TA:  J Med Ethics     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  8-12; discussion 13-7     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton.
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MeSH Terms
Ethical Theory
Ethics, Medical*
Philosophy, Medical*
Comment On:
J Med Ethics. 1995 Feb;21(1):45-6; discussion 47-8   [PMID:  7776348 ]

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