Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (2):135-150 (2001)

I consider the problem liberalism poses for bioethics.Liberalism is a view that advocates that the state remain neutralto views of the good life. This view is sometimes supported by askeptical moral epistemology that tends to propel liberalismtoward libertarianism. I argue that the possibilities for sharedagreement on moral matters are more promising than is sometimesappreciated by such a view of liberalism. Using two examples ofpublic debates of moral issues, I show that commonly sharedintuitions may ground moral principles even if they may be givendifferent weight by persons of different moral and religioustraditions. Nevertheless, the fact that the intuition andprinciple is widely shared may be sufficient to chart somedirections for public policy or cooperative action even if theydo not lead to complete agreement. As a result, I argue that aliberal communitarianism that presupposes a fairly minimalistepistemology is a legitimate approach to achieving sharedagreement in a pluralistic society.
Keywords abortion  assisted suicide  communitarianism  forgoing life-sustaining treatment  liberalism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1011482009875
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Three Ways to Politicize Bioethics.Mark B. Brown - 2009 - American Journal of Bioethics 9 (2):43 – 54.
On a Communitarian Approach to Bioethics.Amitai Etzioni - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (5):363-374.
Evidence, Ethics and Inclusion: A Broader Base for NICE. [REVIEW]Stephen Wilmot - 2011 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (2):111-121.

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