Why bioethics needs the philosophy of medicine: Some implications of reflection on concepts of health and disease
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (1-2) (1997)
Germund Hesslow has argued that concepts of health and disease serve no important scientific, clinical, or ethical function. However, this conclusion depends upon the particular concept of disease he espouses; namely, on Boorse's functional notion. The fact/value split embodied in the functional notion of disease leads to a sharp split between the science of medicine and bioethics, making the philosophy of medicine irrelevant for both. By placing this disease concept in the broader context of medical history, I shall show that it does capture an essential part of modern medical ideology. However, it is also a self-contradictory notion. By making explicit the value desiderata of medical nosologies, a reconfiguration of the relation between medicine, bioethics, and the philosophy of medicine is initiated. This, in turn, will involve a recovery of the caring dimensions of medicine, and thus a more humane practice.
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Andrew Miles & Michael Loughlin (2009). Philosophy, Freedom and the Public Good: A Review and Analysis of 'Public Health Ethics' Holland, S. (2007). Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 15 (5):838-858.
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