Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (5):487-510 (1992)

Abstract
Several scholars have recently criticized the dominant emphasis upon mid-level principles in bioethics best exemplified by Beauchamp and Childress's Principles of Biomedical Ethics . In Part I of this essay, I assess the fairness and cogency of three broad criticisms raised against ‘principlism’ as an approach: (1) that principlism, as an exercise in applied ethics, is insufficiently attentive to the dialectical relations between ethical theory and moral practice; (2) that principlism fails to offer a systematic account of the principles of nonmaleficence, beneficence, respect for autonomy, and justice; and (3) that principlism, as a version of moral pluralism, is fatally flawed by its theoretical agnosticism. While acknowledging that Beauchamp and Childress's reliance upon Ross's version of intuitionism is problematic, I conclude that the critics of principlism have failed to make a compelling case against its theoretical or practical adequacy as an ethical approach. In Part II, I assess the moral theory developed by Bernard Gert in Morality: A New Justification of the Moral Rules , because Gert has recommended his approach as a systematic alternative to principlism. I judge Gert's theory to be seriously incomplete and, in contrast to principlism, unable to generate coherent conclusions about cases of active euthanasia and paternalism. Keywords: active euthanasia, applied ethics, Beauchamp and Childress, intuitionism, paternalism, principlism, W.D. Ross CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/17.5.487
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,739
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Appreciating W. D. Ross:On Duties and Consequences.Christopher Meyers - 2003 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 18 (2):81-97.
What Kind of Doing is Clinical Ethics?George J. Agich - 2004 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (1):7-24.
Ethics: The Art of Wandering Aimlessly?Ana Iltis - 2019 - Christian Bioethics 25 (1):128-143.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Principlism Debate: A Critical Overview.Richard B. Davis - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (1):85-105.
The Limits of Principlism and Recourse to Theory: The Example of Telecare.Tom Sorell - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):369-382.
Perseverations on a Critical Theme.B. Andrew Lustig - 1993 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (5):491-502.
Defending Principlism Well Understood.Michael Quante & Andreas Vieth - 2002 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (6):621 – 649.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-08-22

Total views
70 ( #134,207 of 2,340,252 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #515,720 of 2,340,252 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes