David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Neuroethics 2 (3):125-136 (2009)
To aid neuroscientists in determining the ethical limits of their work and its applications, neuroethical problems need to be identified, catalogued, and analyzed from the standpoint of an ethical framework. Many hospitals have already established either autonomy or welfare-centered theories as their adopted ethical framework. Unfortunately, the choice of an ethical framework resists resolution: each of these two moral theories claims priority at the exclusion of the other, but for patients with neurological pathologies, concerns about the patient’s welfare are treated as meaningless without consideration of the patient’s expressed wishes, and vice versa. Ethicists have long fought over whether suffering or autonomy should be our primary concern, but in neuroethics a resolution of this question is essential to determine the treatment of patients in medical and legal limbo. I propose a solution to this problem in the form of ethical dualism. My paper deviates from this text in many ways, but especially in the inclusion of autonomy and happiness as part of ethical theories, rather than guiding principles. This is a conservative measure in that it retains both sides of the debate: both happiness and autonomy have intrinsic value. However, this move is often met with resistance because of its more complex nature—it is more difficult to make a decision when there are two parallel sets of values that must be considered than when there is just one such set. The monist theories, though, do not provide enough explanatory power: namely, I will present two recently publicized cases where it is clear that neither ethical value on its own (neither welfare nor autonomy) can fully account for how a vegetative patient should be treated. From the neuroethical cases of Terri Schiavo and Lauren Richardson, I will argue that a dualist framework is superior to its monist predecessors, and I will describe the main features of such an account.
|Keywords||neuroethics vegetative state utilitarian kantian welfare autonomy schiavo pluralism ethics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Melanie Boly, Marie-Elisabeth E. Faymonville & Philippe Peigneux (2004). Auditory Processing in Severely Brain Injured Patients: Differences Between the Minimally Conscious State and the Persistent Vegetative State. Archives of Neurology 61 (2):233-238.
Brad Hooker (1996). Ross-Style Pluralism Versus Rule-Consequentialism. Mind 105 (420):531-552.
Bryan Jennett (2002). The Vegetative State: Medical Facts, Ethical and Legal Dilemmas. Cambridge University Press.
Immanuel Kant (2007). Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub. Ltd..
Immanuel Kant (1996). The Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mark Bratton (2010). Anorexia, Welfare, and the Varieties of Autonomy: Judicial Rhetoric and the Law in Practice. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 17 (2):159-162.
Lois L. Shepherd (2009). If That Ever Happens to Me: Making Life and Death Decisions After Terri Schiavo. University of North Carolina Press.
Gastone G. Celesia (1997). Persistent Vegetative State: Clinical and Ethical Issues. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 18 (3).
Catherine Constable (2012). Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration for Patients in a Permanent Vegetative State: Changing Tack. Bioethics 26 (3):157-163.
Kenneth W. Goodman (ed.) (2010). The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics, Politics, and Death in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press.
George J. Agich (1993). Autonomy and Long-Term Care. Oxford University Press.
Dorothy C. Wertz & John C. Fletcher (1989). Moral Reasoning Among Medical Geneticists in Eighteen Nations. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 10 (2).
Brad F. Mellon (2007). Learning to Cope with Ambiguity. Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):291-297.
L. W. Sumner (1996). Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Michele Farisco (2013). The Ethical Pain. Neuroethics 6 (2):265-276.
Added to index2009-05-23
Total downloads50 ( #39,820 of 1,679,360 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,761 of 1,679,360 )
How can I increase my downloads?