David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Bioethics 24 (5):234-241 (2010)
The concept of dignity is pervasive in bioethics. However, some bioethicists have argued that it is useless on three grounds: that it is indeterminate; that it is reactionary; and that it is redundant. In response, a number of defences of dignity have recently emerged. All of these defences claim that when dignity is suitably clarified, it can be of great use in helping us tackle bioethical controversies. This paper rejects such defences of dignity. It outlines the four most plausible conceptions of dignity: dignity as virtuous behaviour; dignity as inherent moral worth; Kantian dignity; and dignity as species integrity. It argues that while each conception is coherent, each is also fundamentally flawed. As such, the paper argues for a bioethics without dignity: an 'undignified bioethics.'.
|Keywords||virtue dignity moral status integrity personhood autonomy|
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Citations of this work BETA
Leah M. McClimans, Michael Dunn & Anne‐Marie Slowther (2011). Health Policy, Patient‐Centred Care and Clinical Ethics. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):913-919.
John-Stewart Gordon (2012). Human Rights in Bioethics–Theoretical and Applied. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):283 - 294.
Daniel P. Sulmasy (2013). The Varieties of Human Dignity: A Logical and Conceptual Analysis. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (4):937-944.
Jukka Varelius (2011). Minimally Conscious State, Human Dignity, and the Significance of Species: A Reply to Kaczor. Neuroethics (Browse Results) 6 (1):85-95.
John Hadley (2013). Liberty and Valuing Sentient Life. Ethics and the Environment 18 (1):87-103.
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