The virtues in their place: Virtue ethics in medicine

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (3):261-276 (2000)
We are currently in the midst of a revival of interest in thevirtues. A number of contemporary moral philosophers havedefended a virtue-based approach to ethics. But does thisrenewal of interest in the virtues have much to contributeto medical ethics and medical practice? This paper criticallydiscusses this question. It considers and rejects a number ofimportant arguments that purport to establish the significanceof the virtues for medical practice. Against these arguments,the paper seeks to show that while the virtues have a genuinerole to play in medical ethics, it is a limited role, one thatis subordinate to the role that other moral concepts such asrules and principles play.
Keywords duty  ethics  physician-assisted suicide  pluralism  principle  rule  virtue
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    Karen M. Meagher (2011). Considering Virtue: Public Health and Clinical Ethics. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17 (5):888-893.
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