Cultural Diversity and the Case Against Ethical Relativism

Health Care Analysis 8 (3):321-327 (2000)
The movement to respect culturaldiversity, known as multiculturalism, poses a dauntingchallenge to healthcare ethics. Can we construct adefensible passage from the fact of culturaldifferences to any claims regarding morality? Or doesmulticulturalism lead to ethical relativism? Macklinargues that, in view of a leading distinction betweenuniversalism in ethics and moral absolutism, the onlyreasonable passage avoids both absolutism andrelativism. She presents a strong case againstethical relativism and its pernicious consequences forcross-cultural issues in healthcare. She alsoprovides sound criteria for the assessment of aculture's moral progress
Keywords absolutism  autonomy  cross-cultural ethics  cross-cultural healthcare  cultural diversity  ethical universals  human rights  informed consent  moral progress  multiculturalism  postmodernism  principles  relativism
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