The Elimination of Morality: Reflections on Utilitarianism and Bioethics

Routledge (1993)
The Elimination of Morality poses a fundamental challenge to the dominant conception of medical ethics. In this controversial and timely study, Anne Maclean addresses the question of what kind of contribution philosophers can make to the discussion of medico-moral issues and the work of health care professionals. She establishes the futility of bioethics by challenging the conception of reason in ethics which is integral to the utilitarian tradition. She argues that a philosophical training confers no special authority to make pronouncements about moral issues, and proposes that pure utilitarianism eliminates the essential ingredients of moral thinking. Maclean also exposes the inadequacy of a utilitarian account of moral reasoning and moral life, dismissing the claim that reason demands the rejection of special obligations. She argues that the utilitarian drive to reduce rational moral judgment to a single form is ultimately destructive of moral judgment as such. This vital discussion of the nature of medical ethics and moral philosophy will be important reading for anyone interested in the fields of health care ethics and philosophy.
Keywords Utilitarianism  Bioethics
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Call number B843.M23 1993
ISBN(s) 9780415010818   0415010810
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Michael C. Brannigan (1996). Designing Ethicists. Health Care Analysis 4 (3):206-218.
Matthew Kieran (1995). Applied Philosophy and Business Ethics. Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (2):175-187.

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